A well-tolerated and rapidly acting thiopurine for IBD?

Drug Discov Today. 2019 Jan;24(1):37-41. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2018.09.001. Epub 2018 Sep 7.


Thiopurine drugs continue to be a cornerstone of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment. Thiopurines are economical compared with many newer medical treatments for IBD, other chronic inflammatory diseases and leukaemia, although they are not without their shortcomings. These include a slow-onset therapeutic action and many adverse drug reactions. This feature article surveys published data, unpublished in vitro and in vivo experiments, as well as clinical experience, underpinning a rationale for bringing a novel thiopurine drug formulation to market. This formulation has a rapid action making it suitable for the induction and maintenance treatment of IBD and avoids most thiopurine-associated adverse reactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Rectal
  • Animals
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Thioguanine / administration & dosage*
  • Thioguanine / adverse effects


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Thioguanine