LA Times article looks at research on the horizon.
While the only treatment for celiac disease remains a 100% gluten-free diet, researchers are in pursuit of alternative therapies, which may someday allow celiacs to ingest gluten without causing an autoimmune response and harming the body.
An LA Times December 21st article entitled, ‘New hope for celiac disease sufferers?’, provides a progress report on two major non- dietary treatment research initiatives currently underway, enzyme therapy and immunotherapy.
NFCA Scientific/Medical Advisory Board member, Dr. Robert Anderson, discusses efforts he is leading to develop a celiac vaccine.
From the LA Times:
“In Australia, a company founded by Anderson, called Nexpep, is packaging the gluten peptides that trigger this immune response into a vaccine that will desensitize the immune reaction. The theory, which he says works in animals, is that by introducing these peptides through injections under the skin rather than through the gut, the immune cells learn to tolerate them and no longer display them to the T cells. That can theoretically prevent or turn off the reaction that damages the intestines
Anderson expects Phase I safety trials of this vaccine, Nexvax2, to be completed in mid-2010. He anticipates that patients would receive a series of injections of the vaccine, followed by occasional maintenance doses.”
Dr. Anderson was the keynote speaker and honoree at NFCA’s May 2009 Washington DC Gluten-Free Cooking Spree.
NFCA Scientific/Medical Advisory Board member Dr. Peter Green, of Columbia University’s Celiac Disease Center, and Dr. Daniel Leffler, of the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston were also quoted in the article.