• Ads by Google:

  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

  • Popular Contributors

  • Ads by Google:

  • Who's Online   2 Members, 0 Anonymous, 272 Guests (See full list)

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/27/2017 - A number of researchers are looking to provide alternative or adjunct treatments to the gluten-free diet in celiac disease. Meanwhile, a number of companies are currently developing a wide variety of such options, ranging from various kinds of enzyme therapies, to treatments that eliminate celiac disease reactions, even to vaccines to inoculate celiac sufferers against their condition, perhaps allowing for full recovery and a return to non-gluten-free eating habits, as desired. At least, that's one dream.
    More likely will be the development of enzymes or other treatments that offer celiacs varying degrees of protection from gluten ingestion. Most likely, such treatments would be designed to augment an existing gluten-free diet, and to provide protection against moderate gluten-contamination when eating out.
    One particular enzyme that shows strong potential in breaking down toxic peptides in A-gliadin, the main culprit in celiac reactions, is caricain. A recent paper discusses the scientific principles behind the use of caricain for enzyme therapy. The paper is based on a recent study, in which a team of researchers set out to review the structures of the toxic peptides in A-gliadin for key sequences of amino acids or motifs related to toxicity, especially with respect to digestive difficulties, or immunogenicity.
    The research team included Hugh J. Cornell and Teodor Stelmasiak. They are affiliated with the RMIT University, School of Applied Sciences, Melbourne, Australia, and with Glutagen Pty Ltd, Maribyrnong, Victoria, Australia.
    For their study, they first evaluated structures of synthetic A-gliadin peptides shown to be toxic in the fetal chick assay, both before and after digestion with duodenal mucosa from patients in long remission.
    They also measured synthetic peptides corresponding to the undigested residues, and compared the key amino acid sequences, to see if they might be related to direct toxicity and immunogenicity of the peptides.
    They found that the smallest toxic peptides from celiac mucosal digestion were octa-peptides, which they found in greater amounts than similar products from normal digestion.
    One of those peptides corresponded to residues 12-19 of A-gliadin and contained the key motifs PSQQ and QQQP of De Ritis et al., while the other corresponded to residues 72-79, and contained the key motif PYPQ (extending to PYPQPQ).
    These key motifs have been noted by other workers, especially those investigating immunological activity over the past two decades. Their in undigested residues from celiac mucosal digestion
    These motifs, along with the greater prevalence of these residues, as compared with residues from normal digestion, supports the basic notions underpinning enzyme therapy for celiac disease.
    These study also supports the basic scientific merits of research and development of the enzyme caricain to break down gliadin peptides with two different types of toxicity, and thus to potentially benefit people with celiac disease.
    Source:
    International Journal of Celiac Disease. Vol. 4, No. 4, 2016, pp 113-120. doi: 10.12691/ijcd-4-4-2 Previous study: NCBI

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/29/2017 - Currently, a gluten-free diet is the only way to manage celiac disease. Can a celiac vaccine change that? One company thinks so. ImmusanT corporation has developed a therapeutic vaccine, Nexvax2, that is specifically designed to treat celiac disease. The vaccine is an adjuvant-free mix of three peptides that include immunodominant epitopes for gluten-specific CD4-positive T cells. The vaccine is designed to neutralize gluten-specific CD4-positive T cells to further antigenic stimulation.
    As part of their efforts to evaluate the vaccine, a team of researchers recently set out to investigate the efficacy of epitope-specific immunotherapy targeting CD4-positive T cells in celiac disease. Specifically, they assessed the safety and pharmacodynamics of the Nexvax2 vaccine in patients with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet.
    An article detailing the findings of their most recent effort, titled Epitope-specific immunotherapy targeting CD4-positive T cells in celiac disease: two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 studies, appeared in the Lancet.
    The research team included Gautam Goel, PhD, Tim King, MBBChir, A James Daveson, MBBS, Jane M Andrews, MBBS, Janakan Krishnarajah, MBBS, Richard Krause, MD, Gregor J E Brown, MBBS, Ronald Fogel, MDCM, Charles F Barish, MD, Roger Epstein, MD, Timothy P Kinney, MD, Philip B Miner Jr, MD, Jason A Tye-Din, MBBS, Adam Girardin, BS, Juha Taavela, MD, Alina Popp, MD, John Sidney, BS, Prof Markku Mäki, MD, Kaela E Goldstein, BS, Patrick H Griffin, MD, Suyue Wang, PhD, John L Dzuris, PhD, Leslie J Williams, MBA, Prof Alessandro Sette, DrBiolSc, Prof Ramnik J Xavier, MD, Prof Ludvig M Sollid, MD, Prof Bana Jabri, MD, and Dr Robert P Anderson, MBChB.
    To assess the safety and pharmacodynamics of the vaccine in patients with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet, ImmusanT recently conducted two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1 studies at 12 community sites in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA, in HLA-DQ2·5-positive patients aged 18–70 years who had celiac disease and were following a gluten-free diet.
    The goal of the study was to document the number and percentage of adverse events in the treatment period in an intention-to-treat analysis.
    The study enrolled a total of 108 participants from Nov 28, 2012, to Aug 14, 2014, in the three-dose study, and from Aug 3, 2012, to Sept 10, 2013, in the 16-dose study.
    Overall, 62 (57%) of 108 participants were randomly assigned after oral gluten challenge and 20 (71%) of 28 participants were randomly assigned after endoscopy.
    None of the study participants, investigators, or staff knew which patients received a given treatment; these details were known only by the study’s lead pharmacist.
    In the three-dose study, participants received either Nexvax2 60 μg, 90 μg, or 150 μg weekly, or placebo over 15 days; in a fourth biopsy cohort, patients received either Nexvax2 at the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) or a placebo.
    In the 16-dose study, participants received Nexvax2 150 μg or 300 μg or placebo twice weekly over 53 days; in a third biopsy cohort, patients also received either Nexvax2 at the MTD or a placebo. In both studies, about 5% of the participants reported were vomiting, nausea, and headache.
    Among participants given the MTD, four of eight subjects in the third cohort experienced adverse gastrointestinal treatment-emergent events; zero of three participants had adverse events in the biopsy cohort in the three-dose study, while five events occurred in five (63%) of eight participants in the first cohort, and three events in two (29%) of seven participants in the biopsy cohort of the 16-dose study.
    Those who received the vaccine at the MTD on either schedule showed no significant difference between average villous height to crypt depth ratio in distal duodenal biopsies, as compared with those who received placebo.
    In the 4-week post-treatment period, ascending dose cohorts underwent a further double-blind crossover, placebo-controlled oral gluten challenge, which had a fixed sequence. Meanwhile, biopsy cohorts received a gastroscopy with duodenal biopsies and quantitative histology within 2 weeks without oral gluten challenge. Of the participants who completed the post-treatment oral gluten challenge per protocol, interferon γ release assay to Nexvax2 peptides was negative in two (22%) of nine placebo-treated participants in the three-dose study.
    Compared with two (33%) of six who received Nexvax2 60 μg, five (63%) of eight who received Nexvax2 90 μg, and six (100%) of six who received Nexvax2 150 μg (p=0·007); in the 16-dose study, none (0%) of five placebo-treated participants had a negative assay versus six (75%) of eight who received Nexvax2 150 μg (p=0·021).
    The MTD of Nexvax2 was 150 μg for twice weekly intradermal administration over 8 weeks, which modified immune responsiveness to Nexvax2 peptides with no adverse impact on duodenal histology.
    Patients who received the intradermal administration of the vaccine reported gastrointestinal symptoms were not subtantially different to those seen with oral gluten challenge.
    While the commercial release of a viable vaccine is likely still some time away, early-phase trials have shown promise. Based on these results, ImmusanT will continue clinical development of this potentially therapeutic vaccine for celiac disease.
    Both trials were completed and closed before data analysis. Trials were registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, numbers ACTRN12612000355875 and ACTRN12613001331729.
    Source:
    The Lancet Affiliations:
    The researchers are variously affiliated with the Division of Gastroenterology and Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA, the Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; the Department of Gastroenterology, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand; the School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; the Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA, Australia; the Linear Clinical Research, Nedlands, WA, Australia; the Department of Gastroenterology, Alfred Hospital, Prahran, VIC, Australia; the Clinical Research Institute of Michigan, Chesterfield, MI, USA; the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Wake Gastroenterology and Wake Research Associates, Raleigh, NC, USA; Atlantic Digestive Specialists, Portsmouth, NH, USA; Ridgeview Medical Center, Waconia, MN, USA; Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Research, Oklahoma City, OK, USA; ClinSearch, Chattanooga, TN, USA; the Immunology Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Department of Medical Biology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia; the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, VIC, Australia; the Immunology Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Department of Medical Biology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia; the Tampere Center for Child Health Research and Department of Pediatrics, University of Tampere Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; the Tampere Center for Child Health Research and Department of Pediatrics, University of Tampere Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; the Alfred Rusescu Institute for Mother and Child Care and Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania; Division of Vaccine Discovery, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA, USA; the Tampere Center for Child Health Research and Department of Pediatrics, University of Tampere Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; the Centre for Immune Regulation, KG Jebsen celiac Disease Research Centre, and Department of Immunology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; the Oslo University Hospital-Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway; Department of Pediatrics, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; and ImmusanT in Cambridge, MA, USA.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/26/2017 - Designed to reduce or eliminate symptoms of gluten contamination in gluten-sensitive individuals, the product known as AN-PEP, marketed in the U.S. as Tolerase G, is a prolyl endoprotease enzyme, derived from Aspergillus niger, that has shown promise in breaking down gluten proteins.
    The latest news comes in the form of a small study that shows the enzyme to be effective in the stomach itself, where harshly acidic conditions render many enzymes ineffective.
    Speaking to an audience at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2017, lead investigator Julia König, PhD, of Sweden's Örebro University, said that the enzyme was special, because…[t]here are a lot of enzymes on the market, but this functions in the stomach where the pH is acidic. Often enzymes don't work in this environment."
    König was also quick to caution that "you cannot use this enzyme to treat or prevent celiac disease." The enzyme is not intended to replace a gluten-free diet for celiac patients.
    The enzyme is designed to provide some protection against cross-contamination for people with gluten-sensitivity by breaking down modest amounts of gluten to reduce or prevent adverse immune reaction.
    A previous study showed that AN-PEP breaks down gluten after an intra-gastrically infused liquid meal in healthy volunteers (Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015;42:273-285).
    In the latest randomized placebo-controlled crossover study, Dr König and her colleagues assessed the ability of AN-PEP to degrade gluten after a normal meal in people with gluten sensitivity.
    The research team looked at 18 people with self-reported gluten sensitivity, and with no confirmation of celiac disease. On three separate visits, investigators collected gastric and duodenal aspirates with a multilumen nasoduodenal-feeding catheter.
    Participants then consumed a porridge containing gluten, approximately 0.5 g, in the form of two crumbled wheat cookies. They also consumed a tablet containing AN-PEP at either 160,000 PPi or 80,000 PPi), or placebo. Investigators collected stomach and duodenal aspirates over the following 3 hours.
    In both the high- and low-dose AN-PEP groups, gluten concentrations in the stomach and in the duodenum were substantially lower than in the placebo group.
    This study shows that AN-PEP does break down gluten in the stomach, where many enzymes fail. If successfully tested and commercially released, AN-PEP could help people with gluten sensitivity, including those with celiac disease, to reduce or eliminate symptoms associated with casual gluten contamination.
     Source:
    Medscape

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/28/2017 - After 14-day gluten challenge, an HLA-DQ-gluten tetramer blood test provides better detection of celiac disease than biopsy. Can that lead to new disease detection methods in patients who are already on a gluten-free diet?
    Doctors attempting to diagnose celiac disease are often confronted by patients who have already given up gluten. For such patients, diagnostic guidelines currently call for a gluten challenge of at least 14 days, followed by duodenal biopsy. There isn't much good data on how many false-positive results are generated by this method. To get a better picture, a team of researchers recently studied responses to 14-day gluten challenge in subjects with treated celiac disease.
    The research team included Vikas K Sarna, Gry I Skodje, Henrik M Reims, Louise F Risnes, Shiva Dahal-Koirala, Ludvig M Sollid, and Knut E A Lundin. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Norway; K. G. Jebsen Coeliac Disease Research Centre, University of Oslo, Norway; Department of Clinical Service, Oslo University Hospital, Norway; Department of Pathology, Oslo University Hospital, Norway; Centre for Immune Regulation, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital, Norway; and the Department of Gastroenterology, Oslo University Hospital, Norway.
    The research team took a group of 20 patients with biopsy-verified celiac disease, all in confirmed mucosal remission, and presented them with a dietary gluten challenge of 5.7 grams per oral gluten per day for 14 days, then conducted duodenal biopsies. They analyzed blood by multiplex assay for cytokine detection, and by flow cytometry using HLA-DQ:gluten tetramers.
    Nineteen of the twenty participants completed the challenge. Biopsy results showed villous blunting in 5 of those 19 patients. Villous height to crypt depth ratio reduced with at least 0.4 concomitantly with an increase in intraepithelial lymphocyte count of at least 50% in 9 of the 19 patients. Interleukin-8 plasma concentration increased by more than 100% after 4 hours in 7 of 19 subjects. Frequency of blood CD4+effector-memory gut-homing HLA-DQ:gluten tetramer-binding T cells increased by more than 100% on day 6 in 12 of 15 evaluated participants.
    For most celiac patients, a 14-day gluten challenge did not result in sufficient mucosal architectural changes for clear diagnosis (sensitivity ≈25%–50%).
    The team found that an increase in CD4+ effector-memory gut-homing HLA-DQ:gluten tetramer-binding T cells in blood 6 days after gluten challenge is a more sensitive and less invasive biomarker for celiac disease.
    The team is calling for further study. Being able to diagnose celiac disease without biopsy could really help to improve the entire diagnostic process, and could easily lead to an increase in diagnosis.
    Source:
    Gut

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 09/19/2017 - Hookworms. Intestinal parasites. They sound gross. The thought of having one's gut infected with a parasitic worm generally makes people's skin crawl. Indeed, intestinal worms, like hookworm, have a bad reputation among health experts, and have been the subject of fierce public health campaigns seeking their eradication. However, researchers have also documented the gut healing abilities of parasites like hookworm.
    In fact, part of how hookworms seem to work in nature is to promote an optimal gut environment in which they can thrive. In nature, the guts of people infected with hookworm are generally healthy. Could hookworms and other intestinal parasites prove key to treating and possibly eliminating diseases like celiac, and asthma?
    A number of clinicians and researchers feel that if they can just get the right strain of hookworm, at the right levels, they can basically eradicate celiac disease, and possibly asthma and other inflammatory diseases.
    When hookworms are introduced into the gut of people with celiac disease in the right amount, and kept at therapeutic levels, patients see their celiac symptoms disappear and their guts return to a healthy, normal condition. In fact, hookworms do not reproduce once inside the human gut, so if doctors put , say, 10 hookworms into a gut to treat celiac disease, there will be 10 there later, not more. In nature, the way humans build up dangerous levels of hookworm is via unsanitary environmental conditions and repeated exposure to more hookworms. Done clinically, the hookworm would present little or no danger to the human who was hosting it.
    While still very much in the experimental phase, researchers hope to investigate a number of strains to determine the best therapeutic levels for such disease treatments. For that, they will need FDA approval.
    Remember, the fecal transplant was first described in the 1950s, but took decades to catch on as a conventional treatment for gut disorders, such as c-dif bacteria, partly because it was seen as crude and somehow objectionable. But it proved to work. Really well. So much so that it's now a fairly conventional treatment.
    Could the hookworm follow a similar path from crude and weird to cool and effective? Could hookworms be used to cure celiac disease? Only close study will tell us for sure, and that's why the move to get FDA approval is an important one.
    For that, special strains of hookworm must be approved. "One of the big roadblocks is having the parasites that the FDA will allow you to infect people with," says John Hawdon, vice president of the American Society of Parasitologists and a researcher at the George Washington University.
    He and his colleagues are applying for permission to grow hookworm larvae to standards fit for testing in humans, which is not currently permitted in the United States. Hawdon says he anticipates a lengthy application process.
    Stay tuned for news on efforts to develop hookworm as a potential cure to celiac disease, asthma, and more.
    Sources:
    popsci.com iflscience.com

    Jean Duane
    Celiac.com 09/20/2017 - A half-time report on what we've learned about each other so far in the Relational Aspects of Food Sensitivities research.
    The study is geared toward gaining perspective on the perceived impact one adult's food restrictions cause in a household when cohabitating with other adults. It may ultimately yield strategies to address the social and emotional impact of living with food sensitivities. It aims to provide coping strategies, solidarity and empowerment to our community.
    If you haven't had a chance to take the survey, unfortunately it's not too late. If you have, thank you! More about the survey will appear in the next issue and the four lucky $25 Amazon gift card winners will be announced next month as well.
    Here's what we've learned so far:
    Ninety-six percent (96%) of those who took the survey have a diagnosis that leads them to be on a gluten-free diet. Fifty-one percent (51%) have been diagnosed for 8+ years; 28% have been diagnosed between 4-7 years, 13% between 1-3 years, 5% between 7 months and 1 year, and 3% between 0-6 months. Most began eating a gluten-free diet immediately after being diagnosed. Fifty-two percent feel that the way they were diagnosed affects how seriously the other adult(s) living in the household take their dietary requirements and 23% report that the way they were diagnosed doesn't affect the behavior of the other residential adults at all.
    When it comes to how diagnosed, 73% were diagnosed by an MD; 12% by themselves; 5% by a Practitioner, 5% by "Other;" 3% by a Naturopath and 2% by a Nutritionist. Forty-six percent (46%) report that they check in with a medical or health professional to monitor their health/diet once a year, and 21% get checkups several times a year. Most of us get our medical, health and dietary information we implement into our lifestyle from online sources (39%), books/magazines (21%) and from the MD (17%). The other 23% who took the survey get information from TV/Media, friends, and other sources. Because of the high-quality content available on websites such as Celiac.com, 87% report they are definitely not confused as to which foods are considered to be gluten-free. Sixty-percent (62%) of the respondents' report that other adults in the household are definitely not confused as to which foods are considered to be gluten-free.
    Ninety-two percent (92%) of us are not confused about what constitutes a "healthy diet." Thirty-eight percent (38%) feel they eat a healthy diet all the time, 48% eat a healthy diet most of the time, 11% eat a healthy diet sometimes, and 3% never eat a healthy diet. Our diet includes gluten-free grains 83% of the time, while 17% of us are grain-free.
    Adult cohabitants 'almost always' follow the same dietary requirements as we do in 56% of the households, 'sometimes' in 32% and 'rarely' in 12% of the households. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of us report that we eat different foods than the other adults living in the household 'sometimes,' while 22% of us do that 'rarely' and 21% almost always eat different foods. Adults with food sensitivities in 19% of the households enjoy meals prepared by another adult most of the time, 'sometimes' in 46% and never in 36% of the homes. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of those who eat meals prepared by another adult in their household trust that the meals are safe for them to eat.
    Fifty-one percent (51%) of those who took the survey report that someone else in the household prepares meals for them one to five times a week while 45% report they make all of their meals themselves. Most of us (95%) never cheat on the gluten-free diet.
    Demographics of the Respondents
    Eighty-five percent (85%) of the respondents are female and 15% are male. Ninety-two (92%) are white, most (65%) live with one other adult. Thirty-four point sixty two percent (34%) have a Bachelor's degree and 23% have a Masters degree. Household income was between $75-149K for 33% of the respondents.
    In-Depth Interview – Phase II
    For those of you who answered, "yes" to the Phase II interview (the longer-term portion of the research) and haven't heard from me yet, please be patient. I'm working with some time constraints now that fall quarter classes have begun and will be contacting some of you in the coming months to schedule a time to talk.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 09/25/2017 - There are currently several efforts underway to develop successful commercial enzyme treatments for celiac disease. Efforts include looking at the digestive enzymes in plants, such as the papaya and star fruits, including such predatory plants, such as the pitcher plant.
    One focus has been on developing enzymes that can break down gluten before it can trigger an immune reaction. This could prove helpful to many people with celiac disease.
    One such enzyme under development is Latiglutenase, formerly known as ALV003. Latiglutenase is a new name for an enzyme therapy designed to be taken with meals.
    The idea is that a person with celiac disease would take an enzyme tablet with a meal. If the meal had mild gluten contamination, the enzyme’s two recombinant proteins would break gluten into fragments that are not toxic to the immune system, thereby preventing exposure, and symptoms.
    But the stomach is a notoriously difficult environment to work in, so what seems like a simple idea quite a challenge from a science and biology perspective.
    Seeking to explore the ability of Latiglutinase to improve symptoms, a team of researchers recently set out to test latiglutenase on celiac patients who are seropositive despite following a gluten-free diet.
    The research team included Jack A. Syage, Joseph A. Murray, Peter H. R. Green and Chaitan Khosla. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester USA, the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, New York, USA, the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Stanford University, USA, and with ImmunogenX, Newport Beach, USA.
    "Though the ALV003-1221 trial was inconclusive regarding histologic improvement from latiglutenase, the evidence for symptom benefit, which is more quickly achieved, is quite convincing and clinically relevant," Joseph Murray, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a press release.
    In these trials, patients with celiac disease who were seropositive despite following a gluten-free diet saw major improvement in symptoms when taking latiglutenase with meals, according to a post hoc analysis of the CeliAction study.
    The team was really hoping to see histological improvement, but they feel satisfied that this trial shows, says Dr. Murray, that a "therapy to help patients struggling with symptoms due to celiac disease is now within reach."
    Stay tuned for more on efforts to develop effective enzyme treatments for celiac disease.
    Read more: Dig Dis Sci. 2017 Doi:10.1007/s10620-017-4687-7.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 10/02/2017 - For anyone following the efforts by ImmusanT to develop a vaccine for celiac disease, the company's recent presentations at the 2017 International Celiac Disease Symposium (ICDS) in New Delhi, India, were welcome news.
    Nexvax2® is a therapeutic vaccine intended to protect against the effects of gluten exposure while maintaining a gluten-free diet in HLA-DQ2.5+ patients with celiac disease.
    The company announced at ICDS 2017 that it has presented data showing the immunologic basis for the early clinical effects of gluten in celiac disease.
    Presented in two poster presentations and an oral presentation, the company says its data show that "early cytokine changes in blood following gluten ingestion could provide the basis for a new diagnostic for celiac disease in patients on a gluten free diet with an uncertain diagnosis," said Robert Anderson, MBChB, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ImmusanT.
    The company says its results are "significant" because celiac disease sufferers often adopt a gluten-free diet prior to being diagnosed by a doctor. This can cause problems and lead to unreliable or misleading results with current diagnostic tests.
    ImmusanT says that their data demonstrate that early changes in circulating cytokines after a single gluten exposure may offer a clinical way to assess celiac disease activity.
    The company says that the data, along with the potential to differentiate between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) by assessing IL-2 levels, support the science behind targeted immunotherapies such as Nexvax2®.
    Read more at BusinessWire.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/22/2017 - Venture capital firms Arch Venture, and Vatera are betting big on biotech startup ImmusanT, the makers of potential celiac disease vaccine Nexvax2.
    Arch and Vatera have funded a $40 million B round that will support ImmusanT's development of their celiac treatment through Phase II testing. Full data are expected in mid-2019.
    As part of it's efforts, Arch Venture partner and former head of research at Celgene, Tom Daniel, will join the board at ImmusanT. Additionally, renowned immunologist and Arch managing director Steven Gillis will also join the board at ImmusanT.
    Nexvax2 is the first prong in ImmusanT's efforts to develop a treatment that creates immune system tolerance to thwart autoimmune diseases. If they are successful in tackling celiac disease, the company is looking to expand the technology to include treatments for type 1 diabetes and other ailments.
    Celiac disease is a great place to start, says ImmusanT CEO Leslie Williams, because scientists already know the antigen that triggers the disease.
    Williams says that her company has scoured 17,000 peptides to "create a hierarchy of the key components that trigger the T cell response" in celiac disease. Nexvax2 is designed to work by slowly coaxing the immune system to ignore the trigger. Patients exposed to Nexvax2 react as if they have eaten gluten, says Williams. The goal is to harness that immune reactions and to modulate it.
    Williams is looking to double the size of the company's tiny 7-person staff as the ImmusanT journeys through a mid-stage trial.
    She will then look to an expanded set of programs as well as the data to determine the best direction for the company. Williams says that all options are currently open, including another funding round, an IPO or even a strategic deal.
    Read more at: endpts.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/04/2018 - Nexvax2 is a peptide-based, epitope-specific immunotherapy intended to reduce reactions to natural gluten exposure, and ultimately restore tolerance to gluten in patients with celiac disease.
    Celiac disease patients who received fixed intradermal doses of Nexvax2 lost their sensitivity to the HLA-DQ2·5-restricted gluten epitopes in Nexvax2, but their tolerance was limited to 150 μg, due to gastrointestinal symptoms and cytokine release, mimicking gluten exposure, that accompany the first dose.
    A team of researchers recently set out to test whether small doses in steps might reduce the first dose effect of Nexvax2 in celiac disease patients.
    The research team included James M. Daveson, Hooi C. E, Jane M. Andrews, Timothy King, Kaela E. Goldstein, John L. Dzuris, James A. MacDougall; Leslie J. Williams, Anita Treohan, Michael P. Cooreman, and Robert P. Anderson.
    They are variously associated with the Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, QLD, Australia b Department of Gastroenterology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA, Australia; Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA, Australia; Department of Gastroenterology, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand; PROMETRIKA, LLC, Cambridge, MA, USA; and ImmusanT Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA.
    The team conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial at four community sites in Australia (3) and New Zealand (1) in HLA-DQ2·5 genotype positive adults with celiac disease who were on a gluten-free diet.
    By using doses escalated from 3 μg up to 300 μg in HLA-DQ2·5 homozygotes or to 900 μg in HLADQ2.5 non-homozygotes the team was able to eliminate the adverse events and cytokine release that had limited the previous maximum dose to 150 μg.
    Administration of Nexvax2 at dose levels from 150 μg to 900 μg preceded by dose escalation was not associated with elevations in plasma cytokines at 4 h.
    Otherwise, the most common treatment-related side effects in the Nexvax2 participants were headache (52%), diarrhea (48%), nausea (37%), abdominal pain (26%), and abdominal discomfort (19%).
    This study shows that antigenic peptides recognized by CD4-positive T cells in an autoimmune disease can be safely administered to patients at high maintenance dose levels without immune activation when preceded by gradual dose escalation.
    These findings help further these efforts to develop a successful immunotherapy drug to treat celiac disease.
    Read more at Ebiomedicine.com
    This completed trial is registered with ClinicalTrials. gov, number NCT02528799.
     

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/23/2018 - If you’re looking for a great gluten-free Mexican-style favorite that is sure to be a big hit at dinner or at your next potluck, try these green chili enchiladas with roasted cauliflower. The recipe calls for chicken, but they are just as delicious when made vegetarian using just the roasted cauliflower. Either way, these enchiladas will disappear fast. Roasted cauliflower gives these green chili chicken enchiladas a deep, smokey flavor that diners are sure to love.
    Ingredients:
    2 cans gluten-free green chili enchilada sauce (I use Hatch brand) 1 small head cauliflower, roasted and chopped 6 ounces chicken meat, browned ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled ½ cup queso fresco, diced 1 medium onion, diced ⅓ cup green onions, minced ¼ cup radishes, sliced 1 tablespoon cooking oil 1 cup chopped cabbage, for serving ½ cup sliced cherry or grape tomatoes, for serving ¼ cup cilantro, chopped 1 dozen fresh corn tortillas  ⅔ cup oil, for softening tortillas 1 large avocado, cut into small chunks Note: For a tasty vegetarian version, just omit the chicken, double the roasted cauliflower, and prepare according to directions.
    Directions:
    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a cast iron or ovenproof pan until hot.
    Add chicken and brown lightly on both sides. 
    Remove chicken to paper towels to cool.
     
    Cut cauliflower into small pieces and place in the oiled pan.
    Roast in oven at 350F until browned on both sides.
    Remove from the oven when tender. 
    Allow roasted cauliflower to cool.
    Chop cauliflower, or break into small pieces and set aside.
    Chop cooled chicken and set aside.
    Heat 1 inch of cooking oil in a small frying pan.
    When oil is hot, use a spatula to submerge a tortilla in the oil and leave only long enough to soften, about 10 seconds or so. 
    Remove soft tortilla to a paper towel and repeat with remaining tortillas.
    Pour enough enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of a large casserole pan.
    Dunk a tortilla into the sauce and cover both sides. Add more sauce as needed.
    Fill each tortilla with bits of chicken, cauliflower, onion, and queso fresco, and roll into shape.
    When pan is full of rolled enchiladas, top with remaining sauce.
    Cook at 350F until sauce bubbles.
    Remove and top with fresh cotija cheese and scallions.
    Serve with rice, beans, and cabbage, and garnish with avocado, cilantro, and sliced grape tomatoes.

     

    Roxanne Bracknell
    Celiac.com 06/22/2018 - The rise of food allergies means that many people are avoiding gluten in recent times. In fact, the number of Americans who have stopped eating gluten has tripled in eight years between 2009 and 2017.
    Whatever your rationale for avoiding gluten, whether its celiac disease, a sensitivity to the protein, or any other reason, it can be really hard to find suitable places to eat out. When you’re on holiday in a new and unknown environment, this can be near impossible. As awareness of celiac disease grows around the world, however, more and more cities are opening their doors to gluten-free lifestyles, none more so than the 10 locations on the list below.
    Perhaps unsurprisingly, the U.S is a hotbed of gluten-free options, with four cities making the top 10, as well as the Hawaiian island of Maui. Chicago, in particular, is a real haven of gluten-free fare, with 240 coeliac-safe eateries throughout this huge city. The super hip city of Portland also ranks highly on this list, with the capital of counterculture rich in gluten-free cuisine, with San Francisco and Denver also included. Outside of the states, several prominent European capitals also rank very highly on the list, including Prague, the picturesque and historic capital of the Czech Republic, which boasts the best-reviewed restaurants on this list.
    The Irish capital of Dublin, meanwhile, has the most gluten-free establishments, with a huge 330 to choose from, while Amsterdam and Barcelona also feature prominently thanks to their variety of top-notch gluten-free fodder.
    Finally, a special mention must go to Auckland, the sole representative of Australasia in this list, with the largest city in New Zealand rounding out the top 10 thanks to its 180 coeliacsafe eateries.
    The full top ten gluten-free cities are shown in the graphic below:
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/21/2018 - Would you buy a house advertised as ‘gluten-free’? Yes, there really is such a house for sale. 
    It seems a Phoenix realtor Mike D’Elena is hoping that his trendy claim will catch the eye of a buyer hungry to avoid gluten, or, at least one with a sense of humor. D’Elena said he crafted the ads as a way to “be funny and to draw attention.” The idea, D’Elena said, is to “make it memorable.” 
    Though D’Elena’s marketing seeks to capitalizes on the gluten-free trend, he knows Celiac disease is a serious health issue for some people. “[W]e’re not here to offend anybody….this is just something we're just trying to do to draw attention and do what's best for our clients," he said. 
    Still, the signs seem to be working. D'elena had fielded six offers within a few days of listing the west Phoenix home.
    "Buying can sometimes be the most stressful thing you do in your entire life so why not have some fun with it," he said. 
    What do you think? Clever? Funny?
    Read more at Arizonafamily.com.

    Advertising Banner-Ads
    Bakery On Main started in the small bakery of a natural foods market on Main Street in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Founder Michael Smulders listened when his customers with Celiac Disease would mention the lack of good tasting, gluten-free options available to them. Upon learning this, he believed that nobody should have to suffer due to any kind of food allergy or dietary need. From then on, his mission became creating delicious and fearlessly unique gluten-free products that were clean and great tasting, while still being safe for his Celiac customers!
    Premium ingredients, bakeshop delicious recipes, and happy customers were our inspiration from the beginning— and are still the cornerstones of Bakery On Main today. We are a fiercely ethical company that believes in integrity and feels that happiness and wholesome, great tasting food should be harmonious. We strive for that in everything we bake in our dedicated gluten-free facility that is GFCO Certified and SQF Level 3 Certified. We use only natural, NON-GMO Project Verified ingredients and all of our products are certified Kosher Parve, dairy and casein free, and we have recently introduced certified Organic items as well! 
    Our passion is to bake the very best products while bringing happiness to our customers, each other, and all those we meet!
    We are available during normal business hours at: 1-888-533-8118 EST.
    To learn more about us at: visit our site.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/20/2018 - Currently, the only way to manage celiac disease is to eliminate gluten from the diet. That could be set to change as clinical trials begin in Australia for a new vaccine that aims to switch off the immune response to gluten. 
    The trials are set to begin at Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast Clinical Trials Centre. The vaccine is designed to allow people with celiac disease to consume gluten with no adverse effects. A successful vaccine could be the beginning of the end for the gluten-free diet as the only currently viable treatment for celiac disease. That could be a massive breakthrough for people with celiac disease.
    USC’s Clinical Trials Centre Director Lucas Litewka said trial participants would receive an injection of the vaccine twice a week for seven weeks. The trials will be conducted alongside gastroenterologist Dr. James Daveson, who called the vaccine “a very exciting potential new therapy that has been undergoing clinical trials for several years now.”
    Dr. Daveson said the investigational vaccine might potentially restore gluten tolerance to people with celiac disease.The trial is open to adults between the ages of 18 and 70 who have clinically diagnosed celiac disease, and have followed a strict gluten-free diet for at least 12 months. Anyone interested in participating can go to www.joinourtrials.com.
    Read more at the website for Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast Clinical Trials Centre.

    Source:
    FoodProcessing.com.au