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XELJANZTM, an oral therapy, is the first and only Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor approved by Health Canada for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), UC and PsA
XELJANZ XR also now approved for use in RA in Canada

OCTOBER 9, 2018 – KIRKLAND, QC – Pfizer Canada has announced the Health Canada approval of XELJANZ for two new indications: the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active Ulcerative Colitis (UC), and the treatment of adult patients with active Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). It was previously approved in 2014 for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

XELJANZ, an oral therapy, is the first Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor approved by Health Canada for RA, UC and PsA.

About UC

UC is a chronic and often debilitating inflammatory bowel disease that affects millions of people worldwide.1 Symptoms of UC can include chronic diarrhea with blood and mucus, abdominal pain and cramping, and weight loss.2 While the exact cause of UC is unknown, it is believed to be the result of complex interactions between multiple factors that include genetic predisposition and an exaggerated immune response to a microbial trigger.3 UC can have a significant effect on work, family and social activities.4

“We know that no two UC patients have exactly the same experience, which means a variety of treatment options are necessary,” says Dr. Remo Panaccione, Director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic, University of Calgary. “With expanded options, the physician community can collaborate more easily with patients to discuss their unique needs and develop a treatment plan that works best for them.”

About PsA

PsA is a chronic, inflammatory disease that may include manifestations in peripheral joints, tendons, ligaments or skin.5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 6 PsA may include a variety of symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, swollen toes and/or fingers and reduced range of motion.6,7,8

“Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis often suffer from symptoms that can affect work, school, relationships, hobbies and more,” says Dr. Dafna D Gladman, Director, Psoriatic Arthritis Program, Toronto Western Hospital. “The approval of this new oral medication provides a new way to manage those symptoms and maintain everyday activities. It’s a meaningful step forward for the PsA patient community.”

“At Pfizer Canada we believe that providing an additional treatment option and with oral delivery route such as XELJANZ brings a choice and additional value to patients suffering from Ulcerative Colitis or Psoriatic Arthritis,” says Vratislav Hadrava, Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer Canada. 

XELJANZ XR also now approved

XELJANZ XR is also now approved for use in Canada.  The XELJANZ XR format is approved for adult patients with moderately to severely active Rheumatoid Arthritis.

About Pfizer Canada

Pfizer Canada is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care portfolio includes some of the world’s best-known and most prescribed medicines and vaccines. Historically, Pfizer Inc. has invested more than US $7 billion toward developing safe and effective medicines. At Pfizer, we’re working together for a healthier world. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit pfizer.ca or you can follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/PfizerCA) or Facebook (facebook.com/PfizerCanada).


For further information:

Corporate Affairs
Pfizer Canada
[email protected]


  1. Loftus E. Clinical Epidemiology of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Incidence, Prevalence, and Environmental Influences. Gastroenterology. 2004;126:1504–1517.

  2. Hanauer SB. Inflammatory bowel disease. The New England Journal of Medicine. 1996;334(13):841-8

  3. Sartor RB. Mechanisms of Disease: pathogenesis of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2006;3:390-407.

  4. Irvine EJ. Quality of Life of Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: Past, Present, and Future. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2008;14(4):554-563

  5. Strauss, EJ. Orthopedic Manifestations and Management of Psoriatic Arthritis. American Journal of Orthopedics. 2008;37(3):138-47.

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  6. Ritchlin C, et al. Psoriatic Arthritis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2017; 376:957-970.

  7. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) National Institutes of Health. Psoriatic Arthritis Overview. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/psoriatic-arthritis.  Accessed December 14, 2017.

  8. Arthritis Foundation. Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/psoriatic-arthritis/symptoms.php. Accessed December 14, 2017.