Tofacitinib is an orally available inhibitor of Janus kinases (JAK), with immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities. Upon administration, tofacitinib binds to JAK and prevents the activation of the JAK-signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) signaling pathway. This may decrease the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-6, -7, -15, -21, interferon-alpha and -beta, and may prevent both an inflammatory response and the inflammation-induced damage caused by certain immunological diseases. JAK kinases are intracellular enzymes involved in signaling pathways affecting hematopoiesis, immunity and inflammation. Tofacitinib was discovered and developed by the National Institutes of Health and Pfizer. Besides rheumatoid arthritis, tofacitinib has also been studied in clinical trials for the prevention of organ transplant rejection, and the treatment of psoriasis and ulcerative colitis. Patients treated with tofacitinib (XELJANZ) are at increased risk for developing serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death and adverse reactions. Most patients who developed these infections were taking concomitant immunosuppressants such as methotrexate or corticosteroids. NCATS
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