Celiac disease patients can soon eat gluten safely thanks to a new vaccine that is currently being tested worldwide.
The vaccine called Nexvax2 targets the immune system to stop the inflammation that typically occurs in celiac sufferers consuming gluten. It was first tested in 2011 for the first trial phase and found safe.
The company, which produces Nexvax2, the Massachusetts-based ImmusanT, received $ 40 million in funding for the vaccine in 2017. The second round of testing begins in Melbourne before heading to other cities in Australia. ImmusanT hopes to enroll 150 patients from the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
"The vaccine is designed to target 90 percent of celiac disease patients with the HLA-DQ2 genetic disorder," said Jason Tye-Din, director of celiac disease research and gastroenterologist at Royal Melbourne Hospital, where the trial will begin, the Sydney Morning Herald said (1
RELATED VIDEO: Party City Excuses and Adds Advertising After Insulting People with Gluten Allergies
There is currently no treatment for celiac disease – the only option is to eliminate gluten altogether. While gluten-free walking has become a trend among health-conscious people over the last decade, the protein for celiac sufferers poses a serious risk to their small intestine, causing diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
Nexvax2 Can not Activate This Immediately People with celiac disease should take gluten again – rather, the vaccine slowly builds immunity to the proteins in gluten and stops the negative side effects.
"Through this study, we expect new findings that support our ability to specifically demonstrate suppression of the immune response to gluten epitopes and the associated effects of celiac disease," Dr. Ken Truitt, Chief Medical Officer of ImmusanT, to BeyondCeliac.org.