Biologic and biosimilar medicines can help patients with moderate to severe inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), who have not responded to, or who are not candidates for other treatments. Biologics are an important treatment option for IBD. They work by targeting specific proteins or cells in the immune system (the body’s natural defense against illness and germs) involved in the inflammatory process.
IBD most often refers to two conditions—ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease—which are characterized by inflammation (swelling) of different parts of the digestive tract. The exact cause of IBD is complex, but research shows it may be the result of someone’s immune system attacking healthy cells and tissue in the digestive tract by mistake.
Although IBD cannot be cured by biologics or biosimilars, both can help keep symptoms in remission (when symptoms are less or go away) and improve quality of life for many patients with moderate to severe IBD. They also have an advantage over other medicines used in IBD, because they are more targeted and selective in the body and in their medical effect.