A landmark vaccine for celiac desease, called Nexvax2, has moved into its second phase of human clinical trials, according to a news release from the vaccine's manufacturer, ImmusanT. Nexvax2 is a "therapeutic" vaccine, which means that it's created to address an immune response that's already happening in the bodies of those with celiac disease, Beyond Celiac explains. It has proven itself to be both safe and tolerable in adults with Celiac Disease.
About 1% of the global population suffers from celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine when a person ingests gluten. This means avoiding foods with wheat, barley and rye. In the United States, it affects 2.5 million Americans.
The treatment - which consists of twice-weekly injections administered over a 16-week period - is made up of molecules called peptides, which elicit an immune response in patients with celiac disease. The vaccine is specifically created to work against the HLA-DQ2.5 genetic form of the disease, which accounts for 90 percent of people with celiac.More news: Jazz beat Celtics 123-115 in Hayward’s return to Utah
ImmusanT is ultimately looking to develop a vaccine that would eliminate the need for a gluten-free diet.
"Inadvertent gluten exposures can cause significant and long-term negative impacts on patient health".
Clinical trials usually take around two years, so it would be a while before the vaccine becomes widely available. After Phase 2 is deemed a success, it will undergo another round of clinical testing and then apply for approval at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.More news: GUBERNATORIAL: Governors races feature fight for party control in states
"This [new] trial is important in establishing clinical proof of concept for a treatment that would provide benefit beyond that of the gluten-free diet", Tye-Din said.
Some have also opted to cut out gluten for other health reasons, even if they do not have a celiac disease diagnosis, although some medical professionals have warned against this, the British Medical Journal reported. "Even the most diligent patients can suffer the adverse effects of accidental exposure", study researcher Jason Tye-Din, head of celiac research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, said in an October 30 statement. "Therapeutic vaccines aim to reprogram the immune system to learn not to react", the group wrote.More news: Father confirms son, 22, was among Thousand Oaks shooting victims