Guest: Dr. Jay Popp
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: John W. (Jay) Popp, Jr. graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1969 and completed medical school at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in 1973. He has had an interest in inflammatory bowel disease since his training and has participated in numerous clinical trials evaluating novel therapies for IBD. He retired from private practice and joined Janssen Biotech as a Medical Director in the Medical Affairs Department In 2006. He continues to have an intense interest in colorectal cancer prevention and has visited Congress on numerous occasions to inform our legislators of the importance of preventative strategies.
Segment overview: Jay Popp, MD, Director of Medical Affairs, Janssen Biotech, Inc., talks about the new Gut Check platform, designed for people living with chronic IBD, that helps improve disease monitoring and enhance communication with their doctor.
Health Professional Radio – Inflammatory Bowel Disease Sufferers
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, I am your host Neal Howard. Many of us suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and many of us are suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. What are the differences and how are they treated especially now in this aged of emerging technology? Our guest in studio today is Dr. John W. Popp, graduated from Vanderbilt University and completed medical school at Yale. He is now the Director of medical affairs with Janssen Biotech, he took that position in 2006 and he continues to have an intense interest in colorectal cancer prevention. And has visited congress on numerous occasions to inform legislators of the importance of preventative strategies. How are you doing today Dr. Popp?
Dr. Jay Popp: I’m doing great Neal, how are you? Thanks for having me.
N: I’m doing well. Thanks so much for returning with us. Janssen Biotech the director of medical affairs, what exactly is Janssen Biotech involved in?
P: Well by virtue of the name Neal, we are a biotech technology company. But we do manufacture biologic drug, which are different from what we call small molecule drugs. Biologic drugs are actually made from living systems such as microorganisms, plants, animal cells and they’re very large in complex molecules, that our company is dedicated to both immunologic diseases, oncologic disease. And we’ve always have a very large presence in the field of inflammatory bowel.
N: Now in that field inflammatory bowel disease, Janssen Biotech has developed some technology of their own.
P: Well there have been a lot of advances in this disease. And when I say disease, it’s actually two diseases Neal. Inflammatory bowel disease is comprisable Crohn’s disease which could involve any part of the digestive tract and ulcerative colitis which involved the colon. So medications over the past 15 years or so have been verily improved dramatically with the advent of biologic therapy and it’s really changed the way we manage these individuals. We’re also learning more about why this disease occur in the first place, we don’t know the exact cause but we do feel there is some dysfunction or dysregulation if you will of the immune system which is very significant in the digestive tract.
N: You’ve been participating in clinical trials since you’re training numerous clinical trials, evaluating what we called novel therapies for IBD. Are we talking about therapies that were just kind of a shot gun type of experiment or some things that were more focused around the symptoms and causes of IBD?
P: Well hopefully all of our medicines are more focused around the causes, I mean that’s where we want to get to. Although I’ve told you that we don’t know the exact cause, we get a pretty good idea of the chemicals in the body that are produce inflammation and we can actually target those chemicals to stop that cycle and let the bowel heal.
N: Now Janssen Biotech has developed brand new platform, could you talk about this platform that addresses IBD?
P: I’d be delighted to Neal. So we have found in, so I was talking to patient some with various surveys that they really need additional engagement and support so that they can effectively treat themselves and get information to their healthcare provider. And we know we live in a world that apps, don’t we Neal? So there’s an app for everything and Janssen thought “Why not an app for our patients?” which led to this platform called “Gut Check” and it’s a way and it’s very easy to download, it’s free obviously. And it’s a way for patients to tract their symptoms overtime, they can collect information. And more importantly this information could be directly uploaded to their physicians. So their physician has an idea of what’s going on because we have found Neal over the years, the patients sometimes don’t accurately report their symptoms when they see the doctor or they may minimize their symptoms. And this really I think is a fantastic advance because it gives both the patient and the healthcare provider to sort of have a real time look of what’s going on. So somebody can see not just 1 point at a time what’s happening over say a several week period.
N: Since there is an app, you download an app for I guess longevity to be used on an ongoing basis. Is there a cure for IBD right now?
P: There is really not a cure, I think some might say for ulcerative colitis you can cure the disease by removing the colon but that somewhat simplistic because other problems that occur. With Crohn’s disease we know that even if you remove part of bowel, there is a very high likelihood that the disease can come back. That’s why Neal I think there’s Gut Check application is so critical because these individuals generally have disease, well in the case of Crohn’s disease all of their lives, and it’s something they’re gonna have to deal with. And by having a better ways, more efficient ways, more effective way, communicate with their healthcare provider will lead we think to improve care and better outcomes.
N: What type of response have you gotten from healthcare professionals and patients using Gut Check as far as any of the kinks or any of the problems that could be improved upon in future versions of the app?
P: Well we just launched this app about a month ago. It’s on November 11 we’ve got live, they’ve already been 1,400 downloads. We already have 15 gastro neurology practices that are participating. So we think this is a very robust response and as word gets out, which it will because I think patients will tell other patients about this. And this is an app we also feel Neal that this is what I would call version 101 so we will refine it as time passes. We’ll find different things to look at but already it has the ability to capture a tremendous amount of information and get patients information they can find very, very useful.
N: Now as far as information concerning IBD and this app. What about nutritional information? When someone at the store can they use this app to say enhance their shopping experience when it comes to nutrition?
P: Well we certainly have included nutrition as part of this and we really don’t know Neal whether there is any specific diet associated with IBD. It’s often very personal, in some food stuff we’ll bother one individual but not another. But this is certainly some way that they can track their symptoms, they can track their food intake. Neal, this app even has a bathroom finder.
N: A bathroom finder?
P: I know, which might sound silly but when you think about it, if you’re a person and really has a lot of trouble with frequent bowel movement. And believe it, many of our patients when they go out that’s one of their major concerns “Where is the next bathroom?” Because what their life revolved around and this has a way, not only has a where to find bathroom, it would even ranks them and tells about their cleanliness, all kinds of thing. So this is a…
N: Because I don’t have it and I know when I’m on the road.
P: So you like to have one.
N: Oh yeah.
P: You might want to download the app Neal.
N: So this is about 14 hundred download already, yeah?
P: Already, yeah in about a month. So I think that’s gonna mushroom. There’s also as part of this app, there’s a calendar that’s integrated into it so patients can organize their appointments. They can key in to local IBD community events that are going on.
P: There are organizations nationally especially the one called the CCFA that has chapters and many, many cities that have sort of a support group if you will. And I think this will lead to increased awareness in the community of IBD and give our patients a chance to interact with the other patient that are similarly affected.
N: And where can our listeners go to find more information about Gut Check?
P: They could just download the app, just search for Gut Check and it will come up, download it in their phone…
N: iPhone app store, Google play?
N: Okay both of those.
P: All the usual outlets. Yes, absolutely.
N: Great, thank you so much. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been talking with Dr. John Popp, Director of medical affairs at Janssen Biotech. And we’ve been in studio this afternoon talking about the Gut Check platform, Janssen Biotech has developed this app that is very useful for folks suffering inflammatory bowel disease. Tips and tricks on how to manage your appointments, there is information on there about where bathrooms are as well as information group functions that’s been going on in the IBD community. So this app is available through the iPhone app store or Google play if you happen to be an android user. It’s been a pleasure talking with you Dr. Popp.
P: Neal, you as well. Thanks you so much for your time.
N: Thank you. Transcript and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.