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    Celiac Vaccine Clears First Big Clinical Trial

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Will a vaccine work against celiac disease?


    Photo: Andres Rueda
    Caption: Photo: Andres Rueda

    Celiac.com 04/03/2017 - Massachusetts biotech firm ImmusanT has announced the successful completion of its first phase 1b trial of Nexvax2, an immunotherapy drug designed to protect celiac sufferers from the adverse effects of gluten exposure, including gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating.

    Nexvax2 is a drug that relies on three peptides designed to promote T cells involved in the inflammatory reaction in celiac disease to become tolerant to gluten. The company hopes that an initial course will promote gluten-tolerance, which can then be maintained by periodic boosters of the vaccine.



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    The phase 1b trial in 38 patients showed no issues with safety or tolerability, and indicated that the immunotherapy seemed to work as designed.  The study also helped ImmusanT to determine dosages for phase 2 trials to determine if Nexvax2 can protect patients on a gluten-free diet from inadvertent gluten exposure, which ImmusanT sees as the quickest route to approval.

    If Nexvax2 proves to be effective in preventing accidental gluten exposure in celiac patients, the company plans a follow-up program to see if immunotherapy with Nexvax2 can eliminate the need for a gluten-free diet in celiac patients; a step that represents a daunting challenge, and is somewhat of a Holy Grail for celiac researchers.

    ImmusanT is also developing diagnostic protocols for the vaccine, which are designed to guide its use and help improve diagnosis rates.

    Nexvax2 is just the latest in a large crop of auxiliary treatments aimed at celiac disease. Switzerland's Anokion teamed up with Japanese pharma Astellas in 2015 to form Kanyos, a company working on an immunotherapy for celiac disease along with type 1 diabetes. A company called Sanofi is also working with Selecta on a similar approach.

    Meanwhile, in 2013 AbbVie licensed rights to Alvine Pharmaceuticals AVL003, an oral therapy designed to break down gluten in the GI tract before it can cause damage.

    So, stay tuned celiac sufferers, the next few years could produce some very interesting new treatments for celiac disease, something considered impossible just ten years ago.

    Source: Fierce Biotech

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    Take Sanofi out and shoot them. Now they have developed a BS vaccine to cure an auto immune disease that was caused by vaccines, in the first place. My hope is that no one is fooled by this enormous lie. Those of us who are gluten intolerant or celiac don't need this garbage. With proper diet we are improving our health and we don't need you or your filth!

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    Take Sanofi out and shoot them. Now they have developed a BS vaccine to cure an auto immune disease that was caused by vaccines, in the first place. My hope is that no one is fooled by this enormous lie. Those of us who are gluten intolerant or celiac don't need this garbage. With proper diet we are improving our health and we don't need you or your filth!

    Vaccines do not cause autoimmune diseases, this is a fully debunked myth.

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    I've lived with celiac and Crohn's all my life and for the nay-sayers on this list, get with the program. There are so many other dangerous side-effects due to inflammation and not related to stomach-aches and frequent bathroom stops that are scary. I've managed my entire life of 62 years and believed the same thing in my younger years. One example is blood clots in my legs due to inflammation affecting my aorta causing it to throw out clots. I've never smoked or had even a single drink of alcohol my entire life and my cholesterol is great and blood pressure is almost always perfect so doctors were confused why I had arterial clotting in my leg and believe it's all related to inflammation from both Crohn's and celiac. We all need to encourage researchers to keep up the good work! I do agree that drug companies have received well deserved criticism and wish the government would see healthcare as important as gun rights!

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    This is AMAZING news! Having had Celiac for about 16 years now, I have been hoping and praying for something like this for SO long. I rarely look forward to events where food is being served because of the obvious. While eating gluten-free has certainly improved over the last several years, if this vaccine works, AND is safe (for those who somehow see this vaccine as a negative thing!) it will change so many lives making the almost inevitable/accidental cross contamination a thing of the past so that we can be healthier! Plus, it will make going to parties, and everything involved around food, a true joy again! Thanks for the great news and, hopefully, keep it coming!!

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    Guest Chattanooga Charlie

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    I have never see any meaningful info that vaccines cause Coeliac disease. Many vaccines do have some possible bad or no helpful outcomes for a certain set of recipients. I had to go to ER after a Flu vaccine. I have the gene that says that I am high risk for Coeliac disease. My father died from Coeliac disease. In any case, I would be very leery of anything involving autoimmunity. There are many of the new autoimmune biologics that can have very serious consequences. A very well regarded Endocrinologist along with others see Coeliac disease patients with other autoimmune disorders. I would want to know the possible bad effects before even considering such a vaccine.

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    Take Sanofi out and shoot them. Now they have developed a BS vaccine to cure an auto immune disease that was caused by vaccines, in the first place. My hope is that no one is fooled by this enormous lie. Those of us who are gluten intolerant or celiac don't need this garbage. With proper diet we are improving our health and we don't need you or your filth!

    Catryna White - Celiac disease was first identified in ancient Greece - they didn't have vaccines! Celiac health improved during World Wars due to lack of flour. If you look at the history of celiac disease and it's genetic trait you wouldn't believe such rubbish.

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    Question: Is there a treatment that now stops the immediate reaction to gluten and also stops damage occurring to the villi? The treatments that are being tested in the article seem to be singular instead of all inclusive. And how much will these treatments cost? If the high cost of the testing device is any indication, we are looking breaking the bank just to eat "bread". I will continue to be gluten free via diet which is free. - sorry didn't mean to do any rhyming here.

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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 2,500 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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