September 2019

September 4, 2019

Scientists, physicians and patients do a lot of waiting when it comes to research – for studies to be designed, for clinical trials to get underway, for a treatment to be approved, for a drug to be available to prescribe, for that drug to work in relieving symptoms and making life better.

That’s why I’m so happy to report on some specific actions that have come out of the commitment of Beyond Celiac to accelerating the search for new treatments and a cure.

We just awarded nearly $450,000 in research grants to two deserving scientists working on cutting edge studies that bring us closer to the day when the wait is finally over. The Established Career Award was presented to Paul Klenerman, PhD, professor of gastroenterology at the University of Oxford, Oxford, England, and the Pilot and Feasibility Award was presented to Jocelyn Silvester, MD, PhD, of research at the Celiac Disease Program at Children’s Hospital, Boston.

When Beyond Celiac formed its Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) last year, our goal was to develop a strategic science agenda to target ideas having the greatest promise of leading to therapies.  Through the Beyond Celiac Granting Program, we carried out a vigorous grant review process in which top-notch scientists selected top-notch research projects to fund.

Dr. Klenerman, an immunologist who has previously worked on HIV and Hepatitis C, was chosen, in part, to attract new scientists to the field of celiac disease to expand the way we think about how it might be treated and cured. He will focus on a new kind cell that works as one of the body’s disease-fighting soldiers. The cell is found in the inner gut lining and has a name that is easy to remember – killer CD8 T-cell.

Dr. Silvester, who is well known to those who pay attention to celiac disease research in the United States, is going to address the urgent clinical and research need for improved methods to assess celiac disease activity in small intestinal biopsies.

When the SAC was deciding which studies we should fund, we gave top priority to additional research into the role of T-cells in driving the immune response in celiac disease. Choosing a research focus is challenging when there are many promising studies to consider, and we are thrilled to have chosen two outstanding projects that align with patients’ needs and the goals of Beyond Celiac. Both studies will involve RNA sequencing, a next-generation area of science that may pry open some of the mysteries of celiac disease.

At Beyond Celiac, our mission has evolved to one of advancing the science of celiac disease because we firmly believe that with a strategic approach to funding focused research, an effective treatment or cure may be possible within the next 15 years. To accomplish that goal, we are laser-focused and addressing the many barriers currently exist.

We know that the first need in achieving a cure for celiac disease is adequate funding. The second, related need is equally important: We need to maintain our focus on research that is practical and patient-centric. We have designed our scientific plan, which you can review here, accordingly.

As a lean organization, we carefully target our efforts to advocate for and accelerate the best ideas in celiac disease research. That’s why we selected Drs. Klenerman and Silvester. We are careful stewards of the money our community entrusts to us, supporting the approaches that are most promising for patients, as we work towards a cure.

The awarding of these grants, an act that could not have occurred without the support of the celiac disease community, helps get us closer to the day when we are no longer talking about the wait for new treatments and a cure. Instead, we’ll be celebrating because that day has arrived!




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About Chef Oonagh Williams

RNA Sequencing Plays Role in New Research Funded by Beyond Celiac

Scientists awarded Beyond Celiac research grants totaling nearly $450,000 will conduct two groundbreaking celiac disease studies, one into killer cells that cause the actual tissue damage in the intestine and the other into a more exact way to measure intestinal damage revealed in a biopsy.


Drug to Treat Celiac Disease Gets to Furthest Ever Stage of Study

The first patient in first Phase 3 celiac disease clinical trial has been given the first dose of a drug to treat celiac disease. Innovate Biopharmaceuticals announced last month that is has given the first dose of larazotide acetate to a study participant. Larazotide acetate is the first celiac disease drug to get to a critical, large-scale Phase 3 clinical trial.


News, Events & Updates

Step Beyond Celiac

Join us on 9/29 in Kansas City or 10/12 in Dallas for our next Step Beyond Celiac 5Ks! Step Beyond Celiac Events raise funds to support Beyond Celiac research efforts. Register for KANSAS CITY, DALLAS or the VIRTUAL WALK.

***The deadline for T-SHIRTS for KC and the Virtual Walk is 9/6; for Dallas, it’s 9/15. Register today to be sure to get a shirt!

Beyond Celiac Research Summit

On November 15, Beyond Celiac is holding its 2nd research summit. The event, Getting over the Peak: The Final Ascent to Realizing Therapies in Celiac Disease, will bring together scientists, patients, drug developers, patient advocacy leaders, health care insurance and FDA representatives. Learn more and register for the webcast.

Go Beyond Celiac Gala & Concert