Three tools make it easier to follow clinical trials and participate
By Amy Ratner, Medical and Science News Analyst
It’s easier than ever to be informed about celiac disease research with the launch of three new features on the research section of the Beyond Celiac website.
Drug development pipeline
First, we’ve created an interactive page where you can see where celiac disease drugs are in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process. The FDA does not conduct drug studies itself, but requires various levels of clinical review before any drug can be sold to consumers, a process that can take years.
Drug testing begins in the pre-clinical phase, before they are tested on humans, primarily to determine drug safety and dosing levels. Results from pre-clinical trials are used by the FDA to determine if it is reasonably safe to proceed with clinical testing on study participants.
A review board made up of scientists and others in hospitals and research institutions oversee clinical research, which occurs in a series of phases. The board approves the type of people who may participate in the clinical trial, the schedule of tests and procedures, the medications and dosages to be studied, the length of the study, the study’s objectives and other details. After the phases of clinical trials are complete, the drug developer formally asks the FDA for market approval.
On the new Drug Development Pipeline on our website, drugs are listed under the therapeutic approach proposed for the treatment of celiac disease. In other words, how the drug will work in your body. You can also search by phase of clinical trial.
And you can find more information about individual drugs through links to drug developers’ websites. Currently, there are no celiac disease drugs available, and the gluten-free diet remains the only treatment. But the pipeline shows the progress that’s being made toward additional treatment options.
Clinical Trials Finder
If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, our new Beyond Celiac Clinical Trials Finder will make it easy to find the one that’s right for you based on your answers to a few preliminary questions. It’s presented in partnership with Antidote, which uses clinical trial information from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Antidote puts information into a format that makes the trials easy to understand, search and compare. Additionally, it provides answers to potential study participants’ questions such as, “Will I get pills or shots?”
“In a world where 80 percent of clinical trials are delayed or closed due to lack of awareness, we use cutting-edge technology to match the right patients with the right trials,” says Pablo Graiver, Antidote CEO. “We’re helping medical researchers make progress faster and offering new treatment options to patients in need.”
Clinical Trial Process
You can find a new Clinical Trials Process infographic on our website that makes it easy to understand the clinical trial process. Created in cooperation with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, it outlines each phase: the number of people needed to participate, the length of the trial and its purpose. You’ll get an overview of the process from start to finish.
In the same way that the understanding the gluten-free diet is crucial to managing celiac disease, being knowledgeable about research is becoming more important. Scientists are investigating many aspects of celiac disease, from diagnosis to treatment and eventually a cure. If you are up-to-date about what’s going on in the research world, you’ll be better equipped to evaluate new options in each of these areas as they become available.
To stay in-the-know about celiac disease research news, sign up for the Beyond Celiac Research Opt-in.