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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Can a New Drug Eliminate a Gluten-Free Diet for Celiac Disease Patients?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      A new oral drug for treating celiac disease could allow people with celiac disease to safely consume wheat, eliminating the need for a gluten-free diet. The drug was recently granted status as a new investigational drug (IND) by the FDA.


    Caption: Image: CC BY-SA 4.0--Bastet78

    Celiac.com 09/09/2019 - A new oral drug for treating celiac disease could allow people with the disease to safely consume wheat, eliminating the need for a gluten-free diet. Capsules of ActoBiotics AG017 from ActoBio Therapeutics were recently granted new investigational drug (IND) status by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

    The drug contains a customized version of the bacterium Lacotococcus lactic, designed to express a gliadin peptide, coupled with an immunomodulating cytokine. The drug can be administered orally or topically, and so requires no injections.

    According to the company, ActoBiotics therapies promote antigen-specific immune tolerance that can prevent or reverse certain autoimmune and allergic diseases. AG017 is an antigen-specific celiac therapy with the potential to reverse gluten sensitivity that is aimed at the over 90% of celiac patients with the HLA-DQ2.5 genotype that responds to its immunomodulating cytokine.

    The drug will begin a Phase Ib/IIa study in patients with celiac disease in the US and Europe later in 2019.

    What do you think? Promising? Or likely more hype? Over the years, the celiac disease community has heard much about the promise of new drugs and treatments touting their ability to eliminate the need for a gluten-free diet, but nothing has come of it. We'll be keeping an eye on this drug to see how it pans out, so stay tuned.


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    10 years into this and I am very happy with my current eating plan. I don't believe i would take the drug.  Not knowing the long term effects and taking an unnecessary drug doesn't appeal to me at this time.

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    I was diagnosed by biopsy and 1989 and have flattened intestines and his left off my villi I was told I had celiac disease when they told me I had to stop eating bread I thought I was going to die and when they gave me the list of foods I could eat I ask the doctor what if I can't do this he says we would choices on this side or to live in on this side or to die. I have another biopsy and 2001 and everything looks great so I cheated from 2002 it's about 2004 and had a biopsy and again had flattened intestines Anvil light. So I spent 30 years gluten free foods for me. And I can't wait so I can have a pizza with a real crust, eat Italian bread I'm pumpkin pie with the real crust. But it's been so long since I've been eating gluten free food I've got tons of recipes and more things are coming out all the time. I was so excited when they took oats off the list cuz for the first 10 years oats we're not allowed. So let's see if this can get me back to not having to eat steak and potatoes all the time I get so tired of salads and rice and when going out to eat having friends say oh we got to go someplace for Danny can eat I said there's salad everywhere.

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    9 hours ago, Guest Pat said:

    I can relate to Larry.  I'm 69 and have only been gluten-free for 4 years, but I miss pizza and regular hamburg/hotdot rolls, too.  The gluten-free ones just aren't the same!  LiveG Free bagels are pretty good.   

    Costco gluten free pizza and decorate it yourself is ridiculously delicious!

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    This would be great...I was diagnosed in 2009 the same year I met the Love of my life and would love to take her out to eat and enjoy an evening out . She is a Trooper no doubt as we eat at home and she goes out to eat with friends and family but I stay back for the fact I'm scared to feel like hell for 2 or 3 days after being exposed to gluten and it seems no matter how hard I stress my sensitivity to restuarant waiters and waitresses I am always on the losing end . Just once would be great to wine n dine with her like normal couples get to enjoy . Keep up the research and thanks for the hope 👍🏻👍🏻Finland sounds great 

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    7 hours ago, Guest Lee said:

    This would be great...I was diagnosed in 2009 the same year I met the Love of my life and would love to take her out to eat and enjoy an evening out . She is a Trooper no doubt as we eat at home and she goes out to eat with friends and family but I stay back for the fact I'm scared to feel like hell for 2 or 3 days after being exposed to gluten and it seems no matter how hard I stress my sensitivity to restuarant waiters and waitresses I am always on the losing end . Just once would be great to wine n dine with her like normal couples get to enjoy . Keep up the research and thanks for the hope 👍🏻👍🏻Finland sounds great 

    Hi,

    Maybe try the Find Me gluten-free app for phones.  It can show you restaurants the people have been successful eating at.

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    On 9/9/2019 at 9:49 PM, Guest Mila S said:

    🙏

    These places say there will be medications for Celiac Disease.  However, no one that I've seen has said anything as far as still developing stomach cancer.  Of the articles I've read, these drugs seem to break down any gluten in your body.  But if you continue to eat gluten products and you have Celiacs, how do you prevent yourself from stomach cancer?  The gluten is still going in your body, which can give you a greater chance of stomach cancer.  So how are any of these new ideas going to prevent that?

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    Guest I diagnosed myself

    Posted

    When I was 31 I diagnosed I myself as having Coeliac / Celiac Disease due a deterioration in my health. This was later confirmed what was already suspected at the time, during a hospital admission where I had been spending more and more time for longer periods in hospital, with one of the times even ending up in Intensive Care.

    Even if a drug was made available I would still not want to go back to eating a gluten based diet. Though for those that would want to take a drug it maybe fine to take it but remain on a gluten free diet, as the possibility the drug would only work on a temporary basis, would you really want to risk your health and the other illnesses that could come about if you took the drug and it only worked for a short time.

    Most of the food I would eat is fresh anyway and there are not much bread products that I like or consume, as pizza, burgers and bread have never appealed to me as they always made me feel ill. My health as improved over the past 7 years, to the extent of not spending every few weeks in a hospital for prolonged periods of time.

    I would not oppose a drug that was effective from being made available, as it could be of benefit along side other dietary needs as a complementary therapy. Providing that product was not chemical based and had natural plant based molecules, that where not tested on animals like so many other products.

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    On 9/17/2019 at 9:27 AM, Guest Laura said:

    No matter the age the stigma and social isolation continues. Food commercials make me angry!  Many gluten-free processed foods contain gluten cross-reactors or sulfites and toxic heat processed oils.  Even if there were a pill that magically made gluten tolerable, would you still want to consume the proteins in wheat (gluten & gliaden) that produce inflammatory effects in the body?

    The science says that wheat and gluten do not trigger adverse reactions in people without celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. For the vast majority of folks, proteins are fine. Lastly, not sure what you mean by "cross-reactors." Many people with celiac disease have other foods sensitivities. Many do not. 

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    On 9/16/2019 at 2:35 PM, Guest Dante Fishell said:

    I’m really hoping, my 16 yr old daughter has had celiac disease since she was 18mo and although we’re doing great there have been and still times it  mentally affects her. So I hope for her and other kids they can solve this!

    I hope this is reassuring: I was diagnosed at 18 months old in the early 80s. While it was disappointing to go to friends' birthdays and miss out from time-to-time etc. there are advantages to being diagnosed so young - especially in terms of not knowing what you're missing out upon. And with places like 110 Grill popping up, things are definitely better than they were in the 80s and 90s!

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    I have celiac disease and collagenous colitis.  I have found Aldi's to have the best bagels, bread and baking mixes.  They have cinnamon raisin bagels, plain, and everything bagels.  They are in the gluten free section, not the frozen section.  I pop cinnamon raisin bagels in the toaster, spread with gluten free canned frosting and cinnamon sugar. The best. 

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    On 9/17/2019 at 9:31 AM, Guest Made in Finland said:

    Well, all I can recommend to you, Sir, is to move to Finland! They have the BEST gluten-free products I have EVER tasted anywhere! Hands down! And I'm not saying this because I'm a Finn living in the U.S., but because I've lived in many countries before moving here, and tasted gluten-free products in all of them, yet nothing has come even close to what you can find in Finland. Already 30 years ago when I was diagnosed with the celiac myself, there were a lot of tasty products I could buy - and they've even had gluten-free hamburgers at every single hamburger joint 20 years back already, do they have it here? Nope, not a single hamburger place has them, not a single one, I've tried, only in restaurants do they offer, and they're a far cry from the authentic ones - so, in short, if you ever think of traveling for a vacation somewhere in Europe, I suggest you visit Finland! You won't get disappointed! Anything that you can buy normal, you can get gluten-free also! Even in gas station bars - sandwiches and all, gluten-free versions are handmade for you, all you need to do is ask 😉 and of course, hygiene standards are superior, the national health organization wouldn't give a permit for anyone to prepare gluten-free foods, unless the working environment was completely free from gluten allergens. So dont despair, Sir, not everything is lost yet! ✌🤗

    I too have traveled the world over and was extremely surprised and pleased with the same wonderful options you mention in Norway. The Scandinavia countries know what they are doing!

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    On 9/19/2019 at 8:04 AM, Guest Cindy said:

    These places say there will be medications for Celiac Disease.  However, no one that I've seen has said anything as far as still developing stomach cancer.  Of the articles I've read, these drugs seem to break down any gluten in your body.  But if you continue to eat gluten products and you have Celiacs, how do you prevent yourself from stomach cancer?  The gluten is still going in your body, which can give you a greater chance of stomach cancer.  So how are any of these new ideas going to prevent that?

    Not exactly. Higher cancer rates for people with celiac disease are largely tied to gut damage from gluten reactions. Eliminating gluten with a gluten-free diet eliminates the damage, and reduces or eliminates the associated cancer risk. The same idea is at play with drugs that block the adverse immune reaction to gluten. Namely, block the immune reaction, eliminate the damage, and by extension, reduce or eliminate associated cancer risk.

     

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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