The Company also announced that it has responded to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding questions received earlier this year on the Companys Investigational New Drug (IND) application for Probactrix as a prescription drug for pouchitis, a frequent complication following bowel surgery.
The pilot study for celiac will take place at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel. Dr. Rami Eliakim, the Centers Director of Gastroenterology, is the principal investigator. The study will be conducted in approximately 38 celiac patients to demonstrate the ability of a medical food formulation of Probactrix to modify the bacterial flora in the GI tract and improve quality of life. Probactrix has been proven to displace pathogenic bacteria in the GI tract and prevent their re-colonization, restoring and maintaining a healthy balance of intestinal flora without the potential negative consequences of antibiotic use.
We are very excited to have approval to initiate this celiac study and to have provided a comprehensive response to FDA questions on our pouchitis IND, said Dennis ODonnell, BioBalances President and CEO.
Celiac disease is an inherited condition where gluten proteins found in grains trigger an immune system attack on the lining of the small intestine. While celiac disease is rarely life threatening, it is a life altering disorder with symptoms such as diarrhea, fatigue, nausea and weight loss. Celiac is also linked to other autoimmune disorders and is now believed to lead to osteoporosis, anemia, infertility and cancer if left untreated. Diagnosis is often difficult because of the range of GI symptoms. A 2001 survey found that celiac patients in the U.S. suffer for 11 years on average before they are successfully diagnosed. Estimates from the NIH indicate that as many as one in 100 Americans have celiac disease, with significantly higher levels found in Finland, Italy, Ireland and Israel.
Dr. Robert Hoerr, BioBalances Vice President of Medical & Regulatory Affairs, commented, Recent studies have identified a potential link between the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and the symptoms of celiac disease. We are pleased to participate in this study, which will test the use of Probactrix as a means of modifying the bacterial flora in the GI tract and its impact on quality of life for these individuals.
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