We all know, only too well, how very difficult it is to live a gluten free life. Not so much at home where we are in control of the foods, recipes, and products bought, prepared and consumed, but what happens when we go out? Shopping, dinner, to attend events from funerals to weddings, to tailgate parties before a ballgame, to reunions, to business meetings, and ad infinitum. There’s a hundred, if not a thousand times we are uncomfortably confronted with the burden of politely refusing to eat what’s being served – although we’re starving! Not to mention snuggling up to a bar and ordering a gluten free beer? “A what free?” is too often the reply. And food is only the beginning. Shampoos, medicines, makeup, incorrect or no labeling on products – all enter into the life of we who must avoid products that contain wheat, barley or rye.
On the horizon are a number of promising drugs that do not, at this time, portend to be able to reverse a person’s autoimmune system to accept gluten but rather, to neutralize the affects of gluten ingestion. Think of it. You’re invited out with friends to their favorite Italian restaurant where homemade pasta and fresh bread are their specialties. If you could take a pill that would neutralize the gluten you would be consuming, would it not be worth it? And then, next day, back to your gluten free diet.
Alvine Pharmaceuticals in San Carlos, California completed their 2nd Phase of testing a drug that has the potential to “Diminish gluten-induced injury for Celiacs.” The following is a direct quote from the company’s October 24, 2011 News Release attributed to Markku Maeki, M.D. chair and professor of pediatrics at the University of Tampere, Finland and coordinating investigator of the ALV003 Phase 2 trial.
“The results are groundbreaking as they demonstrate for the first time, in a controlled clinical trial, that a drug has the potential to diminish gluten-induced injury in celiac patients.
Phase 2a Trial Design in the double-bind, placebo-controlled Phase 2a clinical trail, 41 well-controlled, well-characterized adult celiac patients who were maintained on a GFD for one or more years, were randomized to receive ALV003 or placebo daily for six weeks at the time of ingestion of 2g of gluten in the form of bread crumbs. Study participants underwent small bowel biopsy at the beginning of the trail and after being given the daily gluten challenge for six weeks.
– Biopsy date demonstrated significantly less small intestinal mucosal injury as measured by Vh:Cd in patients treated with ALV003 then in placebo-treated patients
– IELs, including CD3+ and CD3+ alpha/beta and gamma/delta sublets, which measures inflammatory response, were significantly unchanged in the ALV003-treated patients but significantly increased in the placebo-treated patients.”
More on this encouraging R&D as it becomes available.