Esophageal, gastrointestinal, and colonic diseases resulting from disorders of the motor and sensory functions represent almost half the patients presenting to gastroenterologists. There have been significant advances in understanding the mechanisms of these disorders, through basic and translational research, and in targeting the receptors or mediators involved, through clinical trials involving biomarkers and patient responses. These advances have led to relief of patients’ symptoms and improved quality of life, although there are still significant unmet needs. This article reviews the pipeline of medications in development for esophageal sensorimotor disorders, gastroparesis, chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation (including opioid-induced constipation), and visceral pain.
Classes of medications in development for treating esophageal, gastrointestinal, and colonic disorders by targeting sensation and central pain mechanisms, motility and secretion, and immune function.