In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
"This financing brings together a premier group of investors committed to advancing the companys lead product candidate ALV001 into human clinical and safety trials," said Stanford Professor Chaitan Khosla, Ph.D., who co-founded the company. "Celiac sprue is a serious yet common immune disease that is triggered by gluten, a component of cereal grains found in most foods sold in the U.S. While under-diagnosed, as many as one in one hundred individuals suffer from celiac sprue, yet there is no drug therapy available. Alvines mission is to provide innovative drug therapies for this disease and to change the lives of its many patients," he continued.
"Sofinnova has known Chaitan since the early 90s when we worked together on behalf of Kosan Biosciences. Were thrilled to be working with him again on his current venture," commented Sofinnova Ventures General Partner Nicola Campbell, Ph.D. "Alvines lead products will be beneficial to the celiac market for the treatment of a neglected patient population. ALV001 has proven to be uniquely safe for patients with celiac sprue, an actuality that the management team and investors alike are proud of."
Joining Khosla in this venture are Alvine co-founders Blair Stewart, President and Kevin Kaster, Vice President of Corporate Development.
Alvines platform is based on over six years of research, and an extensive intellectual property portfolio licensed from Stanford University and acquired from the Celiac Sprue Research Foundation.
The Alvine Board of Directors consists of: Nicola Campbell, Ph.D., General Partner, Sofinnova Ventures; Ilan Zipkin, Ph.D., Partner, Prospect Venture Partners; Nina Kjellson, Partner, InterWest Partners; and Chaitan Khosla, Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor in the School of Engineering; Professor of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Biochemistry, by courtesy, of Stanford University.
Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a Palo Alto-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing therapeutics for the treatment of Celiac sprue. Alvines lead molecule, ALV001, is a protease designed to be consumed with food to detoxify the gluten that triggers the autoimmune response in celiac patients. Celiac sprue is believed to affect as many as two million people in the United States alone, many of whom have suffered the symptoms of the disease but have not yet been diagnosed.