Relief from celiac disease may be closer than those who suffer from it expected. In September, ImmusanT, Inc, announced they have started phase 2 clinical trials for a vaccine that researchers believe may treat and cure celiac disease. In their press release, Leslie Williams, CEO of ImmusanT, stated “This trial is designed to demonstrate protection against inadvertent exposure to gluten, but the ultimate goal is to develop Nexvax2 as a treatment that will allow patients to return to an unrestricted diet…”
Phase 2 trials will be conducted in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The vaccine is therapeutic in design, which means that it is supposed to address immune responses that are already occurring in the body, rather than a measles or chicken pox vaccine that is designed to prevent from contracting the disease.
Dr. Den Truitt, Chief Medical Officer of ImmusanT stated in the release that “[t]his trial is important in establishing clinical proof-of-concept for a treatment that would provide benefit beyond that of the gluten-free diet”. Dr. Truitt also stated that the company hopes to “make new insights [through the trial] that will further [their] ability to demonstrate…” the vaccine suppresses the immune system’s response to gluten, and the subsequent reactions those who suffer from celiac disease experience.
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