Celiac.com 12/16/2014 - Will people with celiac disease spend money on drugs designed to reduce or eliminate adverse reactions to gluten? Drug researchers and investors are betting they will.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons--ChelseaFunNumberOneCurrently, the only proven treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet. However, a number of companies are looking to debut drugs for treating celiac disease in the next five years, With that in mind, Abhilok Garg, Ph.D., an immunology analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData, is projecting sales such drugs in the US and five major European markets Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK, to reach approximately $551.1 million by 2023.

The launches of Alba/Teva’s larazotide acetate, Alvine/AbbVie’s latiglutenase, and BioLineRX’s BL-7010 portend a new world of therapies for the estimated 600,000 diagnosed celiac patients in these countries.

With early trials looking promising and no obvious problems on the horizon, analysts expect larazotide acetate to enter the US and 5EU markets in Q1 2018 and Q1 2019, respectively, followed by latiglutenase in Q1 2019 and Q1 2020.

Latiglutenase is currently being developed as a chronic drug treatment, GlobalData’s interviews with KOLs have indicated that clinical experience with this drug could dictate the way it is prescribed to patients, and that it may in some cases be used as an “on demand” treatment,” says Dr. Garg.

Larazotide acetate works by modulating tight junctions (TJs) in the small bowel epithelium, and has tried to maximize recent research showing that people with celiac disease do have altered intracellular spaces and TJ structures in the lower esophagus.

BL-7010 works by sequestering gliadins, effectively masking them from enzymatic degradation and preventing the formation of immunogenic peptides that trigger an adverse immune reaction when people with celiac disease consume wheat. BL-7010 has cleared early trial hurdles and been found to be safe and well tolerated in both single and repeated-dose administrations.

Does the idea of a reliable treatment for celiac disease appeal to you? Would you try such drugs, or just stick with the gluten-free diet? 

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