Current evidence indicates that the chronic inflammation observed in the intestines of patients with inflammatory bowel disease is due to an aberrant immune response to enteric flora. We have developed a lipid A-mimetic, CRX-526, which has antagonistic activity for TLR4 and can block the interaction of LPS with the immune system. CRX-526 can prevent the expression of proinflammatory genes stimulated by LPS in vitro. This antagonist activity of CRX-526 is directly related to its structure, particularly secondary fatty acyl chain length. In vivo, CRX-526 treatment blocks the ability of LPS to induce TNF-alpha release. Importantly, treatment with CRX-526 inhibits the development of moderate-to-severe disease in two mouse models of colonic inflammation: the dextran sodium sulfate model and multidrug resistance gene 1a-deficient mice. By blocking the interaction between enteric bacteria and the innate immune system, CRX-526 may be an effective therapeutic molecule for inflammatory bowel disease.