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Tiny Particles a Big Breakthrough on Celiac Disease Cure?
Celiac.com 07/07/2015 - Could proprietary antigen-specific nano-particles offer a potential cure for celiac disease? Early results are very positive, say a team of researchers.
In what will likely prove to be interesting news for many people with celiac disease, Cour Pharmaceutical Development Company has announced "a significant breakthrough in celiac treatment [that] has the potential to cure celiac patients rather than relying on gluten avoidance, immune suppressive regimens or dietary supplements," according to a company press release.
According to the release, new data from a pre-clinical live animal study demonstrate a reversal of the effects of dietary gluten exposure in animals sensitized to gluten.
If true, their use of robust antigen specific nano-particle therapy could be a major breakthrough in celiac disease treatment.
A study conducted at the Haartman Institute of the University of Helsinki tested Cour's novel bio-engineered nano-particles, COUR-NP-GLI, in an animal model of celiac disease. The COUR-NP-GLI are Toleragenic Immune Modifying nanoParticles (TIMP) consisting of a safe proprietary polymer and antigenic proteins (gliadins). The antigens are fully encapsulated for safety and dosing is administered intravenously.
Once processed, the TIMPs control and regulate the auto-reactive T-cells, the primary driver of disease.
Cour's targeted antigen-specific therapy has been successfully studied across multiple disease models including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, food allergies and now celiac disease. COUR-NP-GLI works by targeting a broad set of gliadin proteins found in wheat gluten, the class of antigenic proteins widely regarded as the main cause of celiac disease. Treatment with COUR-NP-GLI ameliorated symptoms of celiac disease even during gluten consumption.
The study team concludes that Cour-NP-GLI was safely administered via intravenous infusion, while
Cour-NP-GLI treated animals previously sensitized to gluten maintained normal body weight even during continued exposure to gluten containing diet.
Animals treated with Cour-NP-GLI showed significantly better duodenal biopsies results compared to non-treated animals. Cour-NP-GLI treated animals showed significantly lower inflammatory cytokines compared to non-treated animals. Overall, animals treated with Cour-NP-GLI showed comparable or better results than animals treated with a gluten-free diet.
The company presented data on Cour-NP-GLI at the 16th Annual International Celiac Disease Symposium, held June 21-24, 2015 in Prague, Czech Republic.
While there have been other claims made about potential cures, this is the first animal model demonstration of a treatment that effectively cures celiac disease. If these results hold up to scrutiny, and if successful treatments can be developed, this approach has tremendous potential to benefit numerous people with celiac disease.
Now, to be fair, much study, review, and consideration must happen for such a treatment to be developed, but it is exciting news, nonetheless.
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams