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The Food and Drug Administration has granted approval for Remicade as a treatment for ulcerative colitis, giving the drug developed by

Johnson & Johnson


and co-marketed with


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a fifth indication.

The multifaceted drug is already approved in the U.S. for treating rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Remicade is also cleared for use against Crohn's disease, an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, and ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic inflammation of the spine and certain joints.

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that in its most serious form can lead to surgical removal of the colon.

Remicade was approved for treating patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. The FDA says the drug can be used, among other things, for reducing signs and symptoms of the disease, achieving clinical remission and achieving healing of the intestinal wall.