The following article provides an update on development of a vaccine for Celiac Disease.
The US firm ImmusanT is a private company that focusses on providing tolerance to gluten for people suffering from celiac disease by harnessing new discoveries in immunology. Their aim is to “improve diagnosis and treatment, and return patients to a normal diet, good health and improved quality of life.”
For the last few years they have been working on a vaccine for celiac disease that harnesses immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is becoming well understood, and is being harnessed by the medical fraternity in a number of areas. For example, immunotherapy treatment of cancer is becoming a common alternative to chemotherapy for some cancer patients. It tends to be much better tolerated, and provides excellent outcomes for some types of cancer treatment.
During 2016, 38 people with celiac disease were enrolled in a randomised, double blind study to test how effective their drug is at preventing symptoms in people with celiac disease who ate gluten. Phase 1 of the trial was to determine if their drug did prevent celiac disease symptoms, and to determine the level of dosage required.
The results of the trial were very successful. After the initial dose, most people taking part in the trial had some symptoms. But, after that, they displayed no adverse effects from eating gluten, so long as they had taken the new drug.
ImmusanT are now proposing to move into a new, larger trial phase to confirm both the dosage levels, and the effectiveness of the drug on people with celiac disease.