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Australian Researchers Begin Work on a Vaccine for Celiac Disease
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. In 1998 I foundedÂ The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.View all articles by Scott Adams
Celiac.com 10/29/2002 - Dr Robert Anderson, Research Fellow at the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford (now based at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia), and colleagues recently announced their intent to begin work on a vaccine that could cure celiac disease. The Australian teams work will be based on Dr. Andersons earlier groundbreaking Oxford research that identified the specific set of protein sequences in gluten that cause damage to the guts of those with celiac disease (see: Nature Medicine 6, 337 - 342 - 01 Mar 2000). In addition to finding a possible cure for celiac disease the teams research could open the door for a specific diagnostic test for the disease, new treatment and prevention strategies, and even the possibility of producing grains that do not contain the harmful sequences. Dr. Andersons future research will focused on proving that a specific "toxic peptide" can be used to desensitize or induce tolerance in people with celiac disease, and any vaccine would likely be the "toxic peptide" itself or a modified form of it.
The Australian team also announced their agreement for the commercialization
of new celiac disease technology developed by the University of Oxford.
BTG and Isis will develop diagnostic tests and treatments for gluten intolerance.
BTG is a London-based technology transfer company which has bought the
rights to the teams discovery, and Isis Innovation Ltd, is Oxford
Universitys wholly-owned technology transfer company that was established
in 1988 and is a world leader in university technology transfer. Under
the terms of the Isis agreement, BTG will have exclusive access to the
Universitys technology for use in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment
of celiac disease. The technology is based on identification of the particular
epitopes that cause priming of the immune system in celiac disease. BTG
will underwrite all costs associated with the development and commercialization
of the technology, and will share any revenue from commercialization of
the technology with Isis and the University.
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