Celiac disease vaccine would allow gluten consumption
The ImmusanT company is working on a celiac disease vaccine that would allow patients to consume gluten again without creating damage. It has received $12 million in funding to continue its research on Nexvax2, and is currently working on Phase 2 of the study. The company believes it can help celiac disease sufferers by creating a safe immunotherapy.
Vatera Healthcare Partners has provided $12 million to ImmusanT, so the company can continue its study, and it is the second time Vatera has invested in its celiac disease research. The previous funding amount was $20 million and allowed ImmusanT to develop Nexvax2. Now, the company wants to begin Phase 2 by testing the immunotherapy on patients in a controlled study. ImmusanT is also working on a diagnostic that would make it easier to find patients who would benefit from the vaccine.
The vaccine has peptides from gluten in a saline solution and is meant to retrain the immune system’s response to the protein. Patients would be injected with the vaccine and monitored in a controlled trial. ImmusanT believes that the immunotherapy will allow the body to stop viewing gluten as the enemy, so people with celiac disease will be able to eat the protein without any issues. It is a controversial concept that requires more testing before it will be accepted by the celiac disease community.
ImmusanT believes that celiac disease is not the only disorder that may benefit from immunotherapy, and it has plans to research other autoimmune conditions. Currently, it is focusing on Nexvax2 and the diagnostic with high hopes of being able to give celiac disease patients another option. The goal is to give them back an unrestricted diet and the ability to eat gluten without worrying about any type of consequences to their health.
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