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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac Vaccine Clears First Big Clinical Trial

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Will a vaccine work against celiac disease?


    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.

    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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    No thanks. We don't really need bread to survive. Celiac disease has contributed to my RA, MS, Sjogren's, and OP. How would I know one vaccine would not trigger response that is not foreseen? Sometimes we guinea pigs for the drug companies. They are trying to treat the symptom, not the cause. Further down the road, we will see what this has done to people.

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    Sure get a vaccine that supposedly cures an autoimmune disease that was most likely caused by vaccines...makes sense if you don't mind following the big pharma religion to the grave.

    Please site the evidence that vaccines cause celiac disease.

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    Guest Jefferson Adams

    Posted

    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.

    Thanks for commenting!

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    Guest Jefferson Adams

    Posted

    Gluten is destructive for many people. Why develop a vaccine against it? Get rid of the glyphosate soaked wheat! Get to the root cause of the problem. We need food that is healthy and nutritious, not harmful to us.

    That story about glyphosate-soaked wheat is also a myth. There is zero actual evidence to support those claims. There is zero evidence that glyphosate causes celiac disease. Much greater chance that things like reovirus are a cause. Also, using your logic, you might just as well say: Smallpox is destructive for many people. Why develop a vaccine against it? The logic just doesn't work.

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    Guest Jefferson Adams

    Posted

    No thanks. We don't really need bread to survive. Celiac disease has contributed to my RA, MS, Sjogren's, and OP. How would I know one vaccine would not trigger response that is not foreseen? Sometimes we guinea pigs for the drug companies. They are trying to treat the symptom, not the cause. Further down the road, we will see what this has done to people.

    You do realize that one reason humans are actually alive in such large numbers is because of bread? You do realize that the vast majority of people have zero problem with wheat and bread, that they are actually part of a healthy diet for most people? Lastly, I didn't feel like a guinea pig when I got my polio vaccine. Not sure where you're coming from on this.

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    Gluten is in much more than bread sadly. If I could just not eat wheat bread, my life would be great. Cross contamination is what makes coeliac diease so hard to live with.

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    I appreciate Dan's comments. My daughter has Celiac and Hashimoto's, and while I will not rush to try any vaccine for her, I do believe that inflammation related to these autoimmune conditions is very destructive to the whole body. I am grateful for any and all research done in these areas. I am not a fan of big pharm and we have tried many challenging diets and supplement protocols to try to get to the root of my daughters problems without luck. She is of course, 100% gluten-free, and that is relatively easy for her but it is not relieving all of her auto immune issues. I cannot even find traditional docs that have a clue in treating auto immune. Any kind of research and testing that sheds some light in this area is a step forward.

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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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