Research

Innovate Biopharmaceuticals Completes License For Late-Stage Celiac Disease Asset From Alba Therapeutics

Alba_Logo[1]Alba Therapeutics has been working on a therapy for celiac disease the past 8 years. Alba’s therapy, Larazotide Acetate, is the first to reach phase 3 clinical trials, where it will be given to large groups of people.

When Alba first contacted us about helping to promote their phase 2 clinical trial, we investigated the therapy’s mechanism and were glad to see the drug is not absorbed into the body, but acts in the intestine to stop gluten from being absorbed. Better yet, it worked. We covered Larazote Acetate in our article, Medical Research Study to Test a Potential Celiac Disease Therapy Is Underway and Signing up Participants.

A real therapy for celiac disease is one step closer. Alba just sent us the following press release concerning their deal with Innovate Biopharmaceuticals to produce the therapy.  Read More »

Intestinal Gluten Receptor Is Gateway for Celiac Disease

 

 

THURSDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) — Researchers believe they have finally answered a basic question about the cause of celiac disease — where in the body does the wheat protein gluten enter one’s system?

A study published in the July issue of Gastroenterology identifies the CXCR3 receptor in the intestine as a gluten gateway. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, the protein triggers their immune system to attack the body, causing a wide range of serious health problems.

“This is a scientific question that had never been answered before,” Dr. Alessio Fasano, medical director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said in an university news release. “It is not only significant in the basic science of autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, but in therapeutic approaches for the future. This opens a new scientific paradigm for the study of immunity.”

The research team found that gliadin, the part of gluten that causes the most trouble for those with celiac disease, binds to the CXCR3 receptor. This results in the release of zonulin, a human protein that lowers the intestinal barrier to make it more permeable. While this effect is temporary in most people, the barrier stays down for long periods of time in people with celiac disease, causing disruption in the body’s system.

The finding may help in research on the cause and treatment for other autoimmune diseases, Fasano said. People with type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis may experience a similar condition in which offending antigens enter the body through this gateway in the intestines.

“For the first time, we have evidence of how the foreign antigen gains access to the body, causing the autoimmune response,” said Fasano, who is also a pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “Further study is needed, but this could allow us to intervene before the zonulin is either released or activated, preventing the immune response altogether.”

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Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA
Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com.
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.
John can be reached by e-mail here.

Medical Research Study to Test a Potential Celiac Disease Therapy Is Underway and Signing up Participants

There is no cure for celiac disease. But, there may soon be a new therapy to go along with a gluten-free diet.

A Phase II medical research study to test a potential therapy for people with celiac disease is underway and signing up participants at CeliacTrial.com.

celiac disease fasano

Alessio Fasano, MD. Co-founder of Alba Therapeutics

The investigational drug, Larazotide Acetate, was developed by Alba Therapeutics. It passed Phase I trials and is now being studied to determine how effective it is in different doses and whether side effects develop. Alba Therapeutics was co-founded by celiac disease researcher, Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Maryland.1

The therapy is based on Dr. Fasano’s discovery that tight junctions between cells in the intestine can be opened or closed and that gluten relaxes these junctions. It is this process that leads to gluten improperly crossing into the body, thereby eliciting an immune reaction that leads to inflammation and damage characteristic of celiac disease.

“The reality is that the paracellular space is a gate, not a wall or fence. And if material gets through that space – even if it is only 1 to 5% of what normally travels through the cell – it could be associated with disease.”
-Alessio Fasano, MD1

Dr. Fasano discovered the potentially therapeutic utility of down-regulating intestinal permeability of celiac disease.1 In other words, he discovered that Read More »

MEDICAL RESEARCH: Vitamin D Deficiency is Associated with Insulin Resistance and ß cell Dysfunction

 

Editor’s note:

In the following medical research study, healthy participants were enrolled to examine the effects of vitamin D on insulin production and use in the body. This research shows that:

1) Vitamin D plays an important role in insulin sensitivity in the body, and deficiency of vitamin D hampers production of insulin hormone by beta cells in the pancreas.

2) People with vitamin D deficiency are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by lack of insulin sensitivity in body tissues and inadequate production of insulin hormone in the pancreas. Read More »

MEDICAL RESEARCH: Vitamin D Necessary for Preserving Cognitive Function

 

Editor’s note: Promising research published January 8, 2007 shows that adequate levels of vitamin D in the elderly are important to maintain cognitive function or thinking skills that include use of language, awareness, social skills, math ability, memory, reasoning, judgment, intellect, learning, and imagination. This study is called a retrospective review because the researchers did not actually examine anyone. Instead they reviewed data from records of 32 older adults who had been examined for memory Read More »

MEDICAL RESEARCH: “Copper Deficiency in Infants with Active Celiac Disease.”

Editor’s note: In this case report of infants with severe malabsorption from celiac disease, the treating physicians found copper deficiencies based on blood studies that showed severe low copper levels and white blood cell count.  Treatment required copper supplementation in addition to the gluten-free diet.  Normally, in the last few months of gestation, an infant  stores a large amount of copper in their liver.  This storage must last about 6 months because infants must derive their nourishment from copper-poor milk.  This case report shows dramatically the terrible effect of malabsorption coupled with a naturally occurring huge demand for copper that could not be satisfied through digestion. Read More »

MEDICAL RESEARCH: “Pediatric case series evaluating a standardized Candida albicans skin test prod

 

 Editors’ note: This study investigating the value and safety of Candin for clinical use in children demonstrated effectiveness and safety.  Candin is a reagent or skin test for sensitivity to Candida albicans, a yeast microorganism that can cause infection.  The study recommends using Candin in combination with other reagents in infants with anergy to see if they react to antigens other than Candida albicans.  Anergy is described in Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary as the impaired or absent ability to react to common antigens administered through skin testing. Antigens are markers on the surface of cells that stimulate production of antibodies.  In this study, Candin was tested at the same time as a skin test for tuberculosis (purified protein derivative tuberculosis) for comparison of results. Read More »

MEDICAL RESEARCH: “Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG enhances gastric ulcer healing in rats.”

Editors’ note: This animal study investigating the effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a strain of probiotic bacteria, on ulcers of the stomach lining of rats demonstrated that bacteria placed directly into the stomach significantly and according to dose reduced gastric ulcer size.  If the results of this animal research are reproduced in humans, it would demonstrate that probiotics may hasten recovery for people suffering from stomach ulcers.  The bacteria did not affect the function of normal gastric mucosa but normalized those with abnormal changes during ulceration. Read More »

National Jewish Health Expert Discusses Psychological Aspect of Living with Life Threatening Food Allergies

Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

Mary Klinnert National Jewish Health

Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health. Mary is an expert in child psychology and has numerous previous research studies on the effects of asthma on mental health.  She started her career mostly focusing on asthma, but in recent years, has turned much of her attention to the psychological aspects of living with life threatening food allergies.

While meeting with Mary, she briefed me on a study she is conducting on the psychological aspects of food allergies and how this study differs from the majority of previous studies that mostly focus on quality of life issues related to living with food allergies.  The hope of Mary and the rest of the team is to get to the root of what is happening to families that sometimes contributes to deeper Read More »

New Study Finds Link between Celiac Disease and Obesity in Patients

gluten overweight weight gain[Editor’s Note: Originally published October, 11, 2012]

Lately, it seems like more and more celebrities and professional athletes are openly talking about going gluten free. Whether it’s due to a diagnosis of celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, or simply because they want to get healthy, many of them have noted a weight loss as part of the benefits they’ve been seeing. Then why is it, that so many doctors and specialists will dismiss a diagnosis of celiac disease in a patient simply because the patient is not underweight?

In a recent article by Sonia Kupfer, MD, the belief that people with un-diagnosed celiac disease are all underweight is revealed to  Read More »

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