The world’s first potential vaccine for Celiac Disease has just passed phase 1 clinical trials and is expected to start enrolling for phase 2 trials within the year.

Celiac Disease is a common problem, affecting 1 in every 133 people in the United States. It is a life-long autoimmune disorder in which the body creates a toxic response to the ingestion of any type of gluten. Gluten is the protein found in all forms of wheat, barley, rye, and some oats. This causes damage to the small intestine, which does not allow for absorption of essential nutrients and minerals into the body.

The phase 1 trial evaluated the safety and tolerability of the vaccine Nexvax2 and has been approved for phase 2 trials.  Nexvax2  consists of a weekly or monthly injection and allows those with Celiac Disease to resume eating “normal” levels of gluten without suffering the adverse effects.    The vaccine works by desensitizing the patient to 3 peptides which are found in gluten and happen to be the ones that cause the body to develop an immune reaction.  The vaccine presents these peptides in a way that does not cause an inflammatory response and the T-cells (inflammatory cells) become “used to” the peptides and don’t react once gluten is ingested.

What is so exciting about this ground-breaking technology, is that it could potentially work with other autoimmune diseases as well, including multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.  Celiac Disease is the perfect target for this innovative technology because the peptides that activate the inflammatory T cells are well defined in Celiac Disease.

Our Research Department has been in communication with ImmusanT, in conjunction with Dr. Bob Anderson (the developer), to be one of the research centers to enrolling Celiac patients in the phase 2 trial.  If you or anyone you know is Gluten intolerant or has Celiac Disease, stay positive – hope is on the horizon.

Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.  All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition