ImmusanT, a biotechnology company out of Massachusetts is working on developing Nexxax2, a vaccine which could potentially treat or prevent celiac disease. As of this week, they finished the Phase 1 b trial. This means that we are now closer than ever to finding some sort of “cure” or treatment for celiac beyond the dietary fix.
The idea of Nexvax2 is that a small dose would be given to patients with the celiac gene or diagnosis first, and the amount would gradually increase, building up resistance without harmful side effects.
Next comes the Phase 2 trial, which is a key step. About 63 percent of drugs make it to this phase. Later in 2017 the study will begin recruiting participants for the trial. However, the vaccine would not initially be intended to eliminate the gluten free diet, but rather would treat gluten exposure and hopefully eventually be used as a full vaccine without need for the diet.
A main motivation for the need for this type of vaccine is that many celiac patients continue to have intestinal damage and symptoms long after following the gluten free diet.