Nexvax2 may become a breakthrough for preventing or treating Celiac disease.
The company ImmusanT has released information that their Celiac Disease vaccine “Nexvax2” passed their three week Phase I clinical trial. Phase I trials only test safety, tolerability & bioactivity in humans & are not meant to test how effective the drug or vaccine is. Some patients receiving the vaccine experienced symptoms similar to what they would experience from gluten exposure, which was expected.
Nexvax2 works similar to how a flu vaccine works. The active ingredients within Nexvax2 stimulate the immune system to generate a tolerance toward gluten. According to ImmusanT’s executive summary, the goal is to allow someone to resume normal dietary intake of foods containing gluten.
ImmusanT estimates the potential market for Celiac Disease vaccine & diagnostics could be up to $8 billion dollars in the future. Along with the vaccine they are working on cheaper diagnostic tests that do not require biopsy via colonoscopy to verify the existence of Celiac Disease. Removing biopsy via colonoscopy would result in considerable savings & convenience for both patients & doctors. Reducing costs may be especially important given a recent study highlighting the fact that those who are poor are less likely to receive a proper Celiac Disease diagnosis.
Nexvax2 will be entering Phase II trials in about 10 months. Once this happens we’ll get an idea as to how effective it really is. If the promise of Nexvax2 holds true then it could very well be life changing for the many people who have Celiac Disease.