Celiac Disease Vaccine Now Under Trial Could Allow People to Eat Gluten Again

Celiac disease sufferers may soon be able to safely eat gluten, thanks to a new vaccine currently undergoing testing worldwide.

The vaccine, called Nexvax2, targets the immune system to stop the inflammation that typically occurs when people with celiac disease consume gluten. It was first tested in 2011, for the initial trial phase, and was found to be safe.

The company that produces Nexvax2, the Massachusetts-based ImmusanT, received $ 40 million in funding in 2017, allowing them to continue researching the vaccine. The second round of testing will start in Melbourne, before going out to other cities in Australia. ImmusanT hopes to enroll 150 patients from the United States, Australia and New Zealand in the trial.

“The vaccine is designed to target the 90 percent of celiac disease patients with the HLA-DQ2 genetic form of disease,” Dr. Jason Tye-Din, the head of celiac research and gastroenterologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where the trial will start, told the Sydney Morning Herald. “A successful therapy that can restore normal gluten tolerance would revolutionize celiac disease management.”

RELATED VIDEO: Party City Apologizes and Pulls Ad After Offending People with Gluten Allergies

Currently, there is no treatment for celiac disease — the only option is to cut out gluten entirely. While going gluten-free became trendy among health-conscious people in the last decade, for celiac disease sufferers the protein poses a severe risk to their small intestine, and causes diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting.

Nexvax2 won’t immediately enable people with celiac to eat gluten again — rather, the vaccine will slowly build up an immunity to the proteins in gluten and end the negative side effects.

“Through this study we anticipate making new insights that will further our ability to demonstrate specific suppression of the immune response to gluten epitopes and associated effects of celiac disease,”Dr. Ken Truitt, ImmusanT chief medical officer, told BeyondCeliac.org.


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Mandy Moore Documents Her Upper Endoscopy to Test for Celiac Disease on Instagram

This is how Mandy Moore takes care of her health.

On Saturday, the This is Us star documented her trip to the doctor to find out whether she had celiac disease, posting a snippet of the visit to her Instagram story.

“Grog city,” Moore, 33, wrote. “Just had an upper endoscopy to officially see whether or not I have celiac (only way to officially diagnose)…things are looking 👌).”

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that negatively affects the way people digest gluten. When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, their body triggers an immune response which can cause intestinal damage. Although there is no cure for it, currently the only treatment is to adopt a strict gluten-free diet.

In July, Moore — who recently got engaged to Taylor Goldsmith — revealed on Instagram that she had been diagnosed with celiac disease.

“Well, this definitely takes the (now gluten free cake) for bummer news,” she wrote on her Instagram story at the time. “Any celiac sufferers out there with any helpful tips??”

Later, she posted another message, thanking her fans for sharing their knowledge with her, adding that there were “so many lovely humans out there. My heart is full.”

RELATED VIDEO: Mandy Moore Shows Off New Ring After Engagement To Taylor Goldsmith

 

Recently, it seems like the actress has been sticking to a gluten-free diet.

In an Instagram post from her engagement party, she wrote, “My heart bursts for each and every one of these ladies. If you are the company you keep, then I am in excellent standing. Thank you @rp1313 for being the greatest hostess/sister/bff and for giving us all a reason to hang, celebrate and enjoy some delightful gluten-free tea sandwiches (and 🥂) like ladies do.”


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