A potential vaccine to help treat celiac disease is moving closer to reality.
Celiac Disease Vaccines in Development
ImmusanT received $40 million in financing in 2017 to fund further research into Nexvax2®, a therapeutic vaccine to treat celiac disease.
Nexvax2 is a form of immunotherapy, a promising approach to celiac disease that uses the body’s own immune system to treat disease. The premise behind Nexvax2 is that if a small amount of the vaccine is given at first and the amount gradually increased, the immune system of those who have celiac disease and the gene most commonly associated with it, HLA-DQ2.5, will build up resistance to the harmful protein in gluten without any negative effects. Nexvax2 would be used along with the gluten-free diet.
TIMP-GLIA, a treatment for celiac disease using patented nanoparticles developed by Cour Pharmaceuticals, uses an approach like that of a vaccine.
The nanoparticles contain fragments of the gluten protein, gliadin, which has been shown to stimulate the autoimmune response in celiac disease. In celiac disease, these fragments pass through the intestinal wall and activate the immune response, causing inflammation and intestinal cell damage.
However, based on Cour’s research in animal models of celiac disease, by encapsulating fragments of gliadin in nanoparticles and delivering them through the blood stream via a single intravenous dose, the immune system can be fooled into accepting gliadin as a normal part of the diet. This process is referred to as inducing immune tolerance. Cour is currently recruiting patients for a clinical trial investigating TIMP-GLIA.
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Therapeutic Versus Preventative Vaccines
Preventative vaccines are the type most people are familiar with.
They are designed to prevent disease, for example the measles, chicken pox and the flu. Preventative vaccines produce a new immune response in the body. You don’t have to have the flu to be protected from it by a preventative vaccine. Once someone has been given a vaccine of this type, his or her immune system knows to generate a protective response if it encounters that specific antigen again.
Vaccines for celiac disease now being studied fall into the therapeutic category.
Therapeutic vaccines are designed to treat disease. They work in somewhat the opposite way from preventative vaccines because they target an immune response that is already occurring in the body. In celiac disease, the vaccines being developed target the immune response triggered by gluten. Therapeutic vaccines aim to reprogram the immune system to learn not to react.
Articles Related to Celiac Disease Vaccines
We’ll update this list in the future are new information becomes available:
Other Potential Treatments for Celiac Disease
Find the latest information about a number of celiac disease drugs being studied, how they would work and how far they are in the clinical trial process with our Drug Development Pipeline
How You Can Help Advance Celiac Disease Research
If you have celiac disease, you can help advance celiac disease research today. Be a part of the largest collection of critical information about celiac disease ever by joining and telling your story at Go Beyond Celiac.
Go Beyond Celiac is an online community created by people with celiac disease, for people with celiac disease where patients and caregivers participate in research by sharing their stories and experiences and learning how they can join research studies. Researchers and doctors have identified that some of the most important information required to accelerate celiac disease research is missing: understanding how you have been impacted by celiac disease. Go Beyond Celiac provides you with the ability to tell researchers what life has been like before, during and after your diagnosis.