This vaccine is called Nexvax2 and its initial trials have been positive. Without getting too heavy into the medical jargon, here is what I gathered from this article:
The vaccine is based on three peptides found in gluten and is being developed further by the US based biotechnology company, ImmusanT. The first phase of the trials were done in Australia last May and phase 2 should begin sometime in 2012. The vaccine is supposed to desensitize people with celiac disease to the gluten protein.
Dr. Bob Anderson, the Chief Medical Officer of this project said, “Our Phase I study showed that Nexvax2 was safe to use and well tolerated.” He went on to say that it had the “desired effect” on those who took the medication. The company behind this vaccine has raised millions towards more research just this past month, so progress is definitely being made.
If this vaccine in the next few years becomes readily available, a lot of questions come to my mind. Will this mean that people who are now on a strict gluten-free diet be able to start eating gluten again? Will it be recommended they just eat gluten in small doses? I don’t know if this vaccine will ever be as good as avoiding gluten altogether, but this is very exciting and promises to be a real breakthrough! Right now, the only way to treat celiac disease is through diet. There is no drug one can take to “cure” it. That might all change in the very near future!
I know that there are a lot of people who don’t have gluten intolerance; they just choose to live a gluten free lifestyle because it suits them and they feel healthier for it. This makes me think that even if this vaccine is made available to the public, there are many people with Celiac disease who will choose to stay on their gluten-free diet. There may also be people who are anti taking drugs or medications and opt to modify their diet in lieu of taking “one more pill.”
You can check on ImmusanT’s progress directly on their website here.
What are your thoughts on a possible vaccine? Good news? Still unsure if it will work for you? This is very thought-provoking!