Healthy Living

Celiac Disease: Five New Developments to Know About

Celiac Disease: Five New Developments to Know About

Key Takeaways

  • AMG 714 is a therapeutic treatment option for celiac disease patients who are not responsive to the gluten-free diet.
  • The Alvine Pharmaceutocals, in cooperation with the ImmunogenX, is working on a vaccine that would fight against celiac disease.
  • Research shows that a little bit of gluten in our diet is good for the heart, but only for people without celiac disease.

When you have celiac disease or one of your family members has the disease, caution should always be taken so as not to trigger the pain and other complications that might be brought by the emergence of this disease. Since celiac disease has no known medication yet, a total abstinence from any food that contains the gluten protein should always be followed. However, some patients are not responsive to the gluten-free diet. Thus, they look for other medications aside from being gluten-free. But, are there any other treatments for celiac disease aside from the gluten-free diet? Were scientists able to discover new medications for the celiac disease? Fortunately, yes. But before presenting the latest news on celiac disease, let us provide an overview of the condition.

Celiac Disease - Gluten Sensitivity

Celiac disease or gluten-sensitive enteropathy is a genetic autoimmune disorder which is triggered when consuming foods with gluten. When the body of a celiac disease patient consumes gluten, the patient’s immune system misbehaves which then leads to the damage of the intestinal villi. These villi specialize in the absorption of nutrients in the foods we eat; thus, when they are damaged, the small intestines lose the ability to absorb nutrients that may result in the malnutrition of the patient.

Are there possible treatments aside from a gluten-free diet?

Aside from providing a gluten-free diet, parents or loved ones of those people who have celiac disease would always attempt to look for the latest news on celiac disease that may provide possible treatment to ease the pain brought by celiac disease. They always seek treatment beyond a gluten-free diet. Luckily, there are some researchers and scientists that had dedicated their lives to looking for treatments for celiac disease, and fortunately, they have found possible treatments of celiac disease aside from the gluten-free diet.

The Latest News on Celiac Disease

1. AMG 714 as Treatment of Gluten-free Diet Non-Responsive Celiac Disease

It has been known for a long time that a gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease. However, there are some patients that even if they strictly follow the gluten-free diet, they still found some damages in their intestines. Their body is not responsive to this way of treatment. Luckily enough, scientists have found AMG 714.

AMG 714 is a therapeutic treatment option for celiac disease patients who are not responsive to the gluten-free diet. This was discovered by a group of scientists and researchers headed by Francisco Leon, M.D., Ph.D. He is the Chief Medical Officer and the CEO of Celimmune LLC, a company that focuses on the treatment and prevention of celiac disease. The AMG 714, being the first experimental therapy for celiac disease, has garnered lots of positive comments with regards to its treatment of the disease.

2. ImmusanT Developed Another Form of Immunotherapy for Celiac Disease

ImmusanT is a biotechnology company in Massachusetts where another form of immunotherapy for celiac disease has been developed. This is known as the Nexvax2. Nexvax2 is a therapeutic vaccine for the celiac disease that uses the patient’s own immune system to fight the celiac disease. The development of this vaccine was headed by Bob Anderson, a gastroenterologist and a celiac disease scientist who works in ImmusanT.  The company has conducted its Phase I clinical study on Nexvax2, where a small number of celiac disease patients were given the Nexvax2 vaccine to test its safety. Positive results were noted after conducting the Phase I. The company is already planning to conduct the Nexvax2 Phase II in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States this 2017.

3. Latiglutanase by Alvine Pharmaceuticals and ImmunogenX

The Alvine Pharmaceutocals, in cooperation with the ImmunogenX, has developed another vaccine that would fight against celiac disease. It is known as the latiglutanase. The two companies already conducted their Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials. They call it the CeliAction clinical trials. The early two phases of the clinical trials earned promising results and improvements in the condition of the patients with celiac disease. The ImmunogenX and the Alvine Pharmaceuticals had given latiglutanase to patients of celiac disease with varying dosage. It was found out that those with a high dosage of latiglutenase showed improvements in their condition than those with lesser dosage. However, another group of celiac disease patients who were given a little dosage of latiglutenase was discovered to still experience the symptoms and pain of celiac disease. They are experiencing the conditions that are experienced by another group of patients that were given the placebo (latiglutenase without its active ingredient).

4. Results of Gluten-Free Diets on People With and Without Celiac Disease

If you are a celiac disease patient, you might always consider a gluten-free diet to avoid the damage to your intestinal villi. However, doing so might lead you to a conclusion that you have to skip whole grains in your meal to avoid gluten. Avoiding whole grains for celiac disease patients might also mean depriving your heart of healthy foods. Whole grains are known to be good for the heart, but people with celiac disease are skeptical in consuming whole grains since they contain lots of gluten. Gluten in the diet of celiac disease patients might lead to undesirable heart conditions. However, this does not mean that when people who do not have celiac disease consume gluten, they may also have undesirable health problems. With this in mind, you might get confused with the effects of gluten with regards to the heart conditions. Risking the heart condition due to gluten consumption is only for people with celiac disease. Research shows that a little bit of gluten in our diet is good for the heart, but only for people without celiac disease. Heart diseases are not associated with gluten consumption.

5. ‘Gastroenterology’ Reveals that Biopsy is Not Needed in Diagnosing Celiac Disease

In some articles that you have read about the celiac disease, you might have noticed that it is always highlighted that biopsy is the only process known to diagnose celiac disease. Well, the journal ‘Gastroenterology’ revealed that young patients might not need any biopsy to be diagnosed with celiac disease. The European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) has allowed some researchers to conduct research on diagnosing patients with celiac disease without undergoing a biopsy. The researchers said that they only need to determine the symptoms such as the level of immunoglobulin A in the tissue transglutaminase (TGA-IgA), as well as detect endomysium antibodies (EMA) and HLA-DQ2/DQ8. The targeted patients were 18 years old or younger who continually consume gluten. For more of this conducted research, you may visit the ‘Gastroenterology’ online journal.

Conclusion

Now that you are already enlightened with the latest news on celiac disease, you already have a clear perspective on things, especially on the food that you eat despite the conditions attached to the celiac disease. You have the option to try the vaccines mentioned above. You may also join the ongoing clinical trials for the development of vaccines for the treatment and prevention of celiac disease. However, please be reminded that joining these clinical trials also has its own precautions; hence, it is best to consult with your doctor and discuss the matters with family.