It almost sounds as if it is an April fool’s joke. And yes, I took liberties with the title of the article, but this is anything but fake news. A new vaccine for celiac disease is entering phase 1 trials. This will help people who react adversely to gluten (people diagnosed with celiac disease) to become immune to gluten. At least, I should say, that’s the pitch biotech firm ImmusanT wants us to believe.
Celiac.com 04/03/2017 – Massachusetts biotech firm ImmusanT has announced the successful completion of its first phase 1b trial of Nexvax2, an immunotherapy drug designed to protect celiac sufferers from the adverse effects of gluten exposure, including gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating.
Nexvax2 is a drug that relies on three peptides designed to promote T cells involved in the inflammatory reaction in celiac disease to become tolerant to gluten. The company hopes that an initial course will promote gluten-tolerance, which can then be maintained by periodic boosters of the vaccine.
Something tells me this isn’t a play to capture the celiac market, but rather, the “gluten free” market, which is enormous. Consider the circumstances if a celiac vaccine were to hit the markets, you’d have people who “think” they are allergic to gluten, or that gluten causes them to gain weight, lining up to take this vaccine. The gluten-free market would be an enormous win for the vaccine industry. Let’s be honest here, people will get vaccinated for the dumbest of reasons, I can’t see this being the exception. It is actually quite brilliant on the part of the pharmaceutical company.
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Another pharmaceutical company, AbbVie, is attempting to push to market an oral therapy that breaks down gluten in the intestines. This gluten-free market is a money-maker, it appears pharma isn’t planning on passing up any opportunities.
So yes, go ahead and accept those free Olive Garden breadsticks into your life. A vaccine is just over the horizon. You’ll be fine.
Pharma didn’t just suddenly get on this train, they were on it the minute it became a “thing.” The below video is from six years ago.