BBSRC Pathfinder - Technology Market Assessment and Patent Landscape Analysis for use of TNF-α Antagonists in the Management of Constipation in the Elderly

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

Researchers at the University of Brighton have studied the underpinning biology and physiology of the ageing bowel which has implicated age-related changes in TNF-α expression as a cause of changes in faecal output in healthy older mice. Initial studies have shown that a marketed TNF-α antagonist, Etanercept (Pfizer and others) can reverse the effects of age-related constipation in this mouse model. This type of drug is currently prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis, and is a biological molecule which is infused via injection and is expensive to manufacture. Although TNF-α antagonists are safe for chronic usage in elderly patients, the drug can suppress the immune system and these factors need to be taken into account when prescribing these drugs for the longterm treatment of the elderly. Constipation is experienced by both humans and animals, so this opportunity is relevant to both human and animal health. It is not a well-defined disease entity, but a general collection of symptoms. Constipation is considered chronic if it is present for a total of at least 12 weeks (nonconsecutively) in any one year period. Chronic constipation can significantly affect an individual’s quality of life and may be associated with significant health care costs. The aetiology of constipation is usually multifactorial, and may include diet, structural issues, other disease conditions and medications. Primary forms also occur, but are less common. About 20% of the general population
experiences problems with constipation during their life time, with elderly people and women being more commonly affected. Since many people self-treat, only a small number of patients seek medical help.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages54
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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