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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac Vaccine Nexvax 2 Could Be a Big Deal for Disease Sufferers

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Pharmaceutical company ImmusanT is developing a vaccine for celiac treatment called Nexvax 2. Still in phase II trials, the drug, if successful, could change the landscape of celiac treatment.


    Caption: Image: CC--Pan American Health Organization PAHO

    Celiac.com 02/20/2019 - Pharmaceutical company ImmusanT is developing a celiac disease vaccine called Nexvax 2. Many vaccines provide long-term or permanent protection against disease after just one, or several doses. Because celiac disease is not caused by a virus, like polio, but is a response to the presence of an antigen (similar to an allergen that triggers an allergy), the approach to creating a vaccine like Nexvax 2 is different and, in some ways, easier, than creating a traditional vaccine, like the HPV vaccine. Nexvax 2 is a vaccine in much the same way that allergy shots are, but not in the way the polio vaccine is.

    Celiac Vaccine is Similar to Allergy Shots

    Unlike traditional vaccines, such as the polio vaccine, or the measles vaccine, Nexvax 2 does not inject a small dose of dead or weakened virus, or any virus fragment, into the patient to achieve disease immunity. 

    Allergy shots work by desensitizing the body’s reaction by strengthening the immune system, thereby reducing or eliminating reactions to certain allergens. Nexvax 2 would work in a similar manner to allergy shots. It would build tolerance levels until there was little or no immune reaction to gluten exposure.

    Anyone who’s ever had allergy shots knows that their effectiveness can range from person to person. Some people get minimal relief, though most see good to excellent results. Many experience tremendous relief, and see their symptoms disappear.

    Nexvax 2 Faces Easier Path to Approval

    Because Nexvax 2 works less like a traditional vaccine, and more like allergy therapy, the process for testing and approval is potentially easier and shorter; several years, rather than a decade or more.

    The hope is that, once treated with Nexvax 2, “the immune system, now seeing these fragments of gluten in a different way, might learn to tolerate gluten," said Benjamin Lebwohl, director of clinical research at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

    Certainly, the ability to reduce or neutralize the body’s reaction to gluten in people with celiac disease would be a major breakthrough in the treatment of celiac disease. Benefits for celiac patients could include a reduction in severity of gluten contamination symptoms, and potentially an elimination of symptoms entirely. Nexvax 2 treatment, if successful, could allow some people with celiac disease to safely consume wheat. That is potentially huge news.

    Phase two clinical trials of the Nexvax 2 are slated for completion by the end of 2019. 

    Read more: Promising Celiac Vaccine Nexvax 2 Begins Phase Two Trials


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    Really looking forward to hearing the results of the trials.  The more I learn about my disease the more it seems I'm highly sensitive (more than the 20 ppm threshold) and it would be a huge bonus to even be less sensitive, much less be able to safely eat something with wheat.

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    A Celiac vaccine?  Inane!  I hope that nobody falls for this ploy.  Being allergic to something and being intolerant are two completely different things.  The reason gluten intolerant people are vulnerable to approximately 200 autoimmune disorders is this:  the body becomes exhausted creating antibodies to fight what it perceives as poison.  So, the body becomes inflamed and attacks itself, thus causing a host of autoimmune diseases.  Injecting a body with gluten will cause inflammation NOT tolerance, and prolonged inflammation causes autoimmune disease.  Go ahead.  Omit my comment.  This site seems as though it works in tandem with the AMA and FDA.  If I believed the opinions and information expressed on this site, I would be very sick indeed.  

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    I won't rush to this the instant it's out - but once it's got a year or two of actual use in under its belt with no glaring issues, count me in for sure. As much as I'd love to be able to eat anything again, I'd be more than happy with just not having to worry about cross-contamination any more. I dearly miss eating out in my not-very-celiac-friendly city.

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    12 hours ago, Guest pmbell13 said:

    A Celiac vaccine?  Inane!  I hope that nobody falls for this ploy.  Being allergic to something and being intolerant are two completely different things.  The reason gluten intolerant people are vulnerable to approximately 200 autoimmune disorders is this:  the body becomes exhausted creating antibodies to fight what it perceives as poison.  So, the body becomes inflamed and attacks itself, thus causing a host of autoimmune diseases.  Injecting a body with gluten will cause inflammation NOT tolerance, and prolonged inflammation causes autoimmune disease.  Go ahead.  Omit my comment.  This site seems as though it works in tandem with the AMA and FDA.  If I believed the opinions and information expressed on this site, I would be very sick indeed.  

    If you had done even a modicum of research into the vaccine you would know that they aren’t injecting people with gluten, the vaccine works on T-cells in people with a very particular gene and alters the way in which the body reacts to antigens. Ie it stops the reaction, so you won’t have the inflammatory response (and thus all your bs about the autoimmune connection also doesn’t hold water as without inflammation the body wouldn’t be exhausted thus reducing other related autoimmune symptoms). Your comment doesn’t benifit anyone  if you simply get angry that there may be a possibility of eliminating at least some of peoples’ pain. You didn’t even once stop to look into the study being conducted before spouting your bile about ‘the site being in the fda’s pocket’. They are trying to help people with a disease that we havent even begun to define a proper treatment plan for. Any attempts to help those in suffering should be commended, unlike what you’ve done which is spouting bitterness on a web forum. It has a chance of succeeding, we wont know until the study is completed in September. Its always best to have hope!

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    1 hour ago, Guest Anon2019 said:

    If you had done even a modicum of research into the vaccine you would know that they aren’t injecting people with gluten

    Why does someone have to do research to comment on an article. The article implies that they are giving you gluten. Maybe the article sucks, and the comment is not the problem.

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    The article is just a summary of what this company is doing to find a treatment for celiac disease, why is this bad? Also, the reality is that most celiacs are eating hidden gluten, even if they are careful: 

     

    Enzymes and other treatments are still needed for most celiacs in order to fully recover. Hopefully this treatment will pan out.

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    On 2/27/2019 at 12:00 PM, Guest Rakdan said:

    Why does someone have to do research to comment on an article. The article implies that they are giving you gluten. Maybe the article sucks, and the comment is not the problem.

    The article implies nothing of the sort. The vaccine builds immunity to gluten by increasing the body's resistance levels over time. The main benefits would be to give a buffer to very sensitive people. Many people would suffer less than they do now when exposed to gluten. Some would have no symptoms at all. That's great news for many people with celiac disease.

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    On 2/26/2019 at 9:55 PM, Guest pmbell13 said:

    A Celiac vaccine?  Inane!  I hope that nobody falls for this ploy.  Being allergic to something and being intolerant are two completely different things.  The reason gluten intolerant people are vulnerable to approximately 200 autoimmune disorders is this:  the body becomes exhausted creating antibodies to fight what it perceives as poison.  So, the body becomes inflamed and attacks itself, thus causing a host of autoimmune diseases.  Injecting a body with gluten will cause inflammation NOT tolerance, and prolonged inflammation causes autoimmune disease.  Go ahead.  Omit my comment.  This site seems as though it works in tandem with the AMA and FDA.  If I believed the opinions and information expressed on this site, I would be very sick indeed.  

    You are perfectly free to be fearful and reactionary against a potential celiac vaccine. Whether you try such treatment or not is entirely up to you. However, the fact is that, if the treatment works as described, many people with celiac disease could have their sensitivity levels reduced or eliminated. That's potentially huge and beneficial to large numbers of people with celiac disease. Spewing fear and misinformation won't do much to change that reality, or to strengthen your objections.

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    On 2/27/2019 at 3:04 PM, Scott Adams said:

    Also, the reality is that most celiacs are eating hidden gluten, even if they are careful: 

     

     

    This is a VERY TRUE statement!

    Too many with Celiac are putting their health and well being in the hands of line cooks (at best) all the while giving themselves a false sense of accomplishment because they didn't get sick that particular moment. 

    I've stopped eating out due to the FACT that I was constantly getting from cross contamination.  Since I've stopped, my health and well being has greatly improved.  Do I miss going out? Absolutely!  But getting sick is just not an option any longer now that I know eating gluten free in a non-gluten free environment is at all realistic.

    Hopefully this will prove to be beneficial to those of us with Celiac Disease, and maybe one day I can go to work and not have to worry about packing 3 days worth of 3 square meals!  Or simply just leave my home without thinking about where my next meal will come from.  This is my reality!

    Fingers crossed!

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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 biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. 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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