Clinical trial of potential vaccine for coeliac disease - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Clinical trial of potential vaccine for coeliac disease

22 Mar 2018

USC’s Clinical Trials Centre will launch a clinical trial of a new vaccine on 23 March that aims to improve the lives of those with coeliac disease by ‘switching off’ the immune response to gluten.

Coeliac disease is a serious chronic medical condition in which the ingestion of gluten, even in small amounts, leads to an immune response that causes damage to the small intestine.

Sufferers struggle with various gastrointestinal symptoms and, if untreated, face potentially serious complications. Currently, the only way to manage the disease is by the strict avoidance of gluten in the diet.

USC’s Clinical Trials Centre Director Lucas Litewka said the investigational vaccine would be given to trial participants as an injection twice a week for seven weeks.

He said the trial would be conducted alongside gastroenterologist Dr James Daveson at the Clinical Trial Centre on Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs.

Dr Daveson said a gluten-free diet was exceptionally demanding for patients, expensive and difficult to maintain as gluten was used extensively in modern food production.

“There is a real unmet need for therapies other than the gluten-free diet for some people with coeliac disease,” he said. “This is a very exciting potential new therapy that has been undergoing clinical trials for several years now.”

Dr Daveson said the investigational vaccine might potentially restore gluten tolerance in coeliac disease sufferers.

Adults between the ages of 18 and 70 can take part in this trial if they have medically diagnosed coeliac disease and have been following a strict gluten-free diet for 12 months or more.

Those who meet the criteria and are enrolled in the study will be compensated for their time. Patients interested in participating can go to www.joinourtrials.com or phone (07) 5456 3797.

- Janelle Kirkland

USC is a world-class teaching and research university — explore our various research and teaching centres and our newest USC Moreton Bay facility opening in Petrie in 2020.

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Contact the USC media team

Name Position Email Phone
Terry Walsh Manager, Media and Messaging twalsh@usc.edu.au +61 7 5430 1160
Janelle Kirkland Media Relations Coordinator jkirklan@usc.edu.au +61 7 5459 4553
Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) cmckay@usc.edu.au +61 7 5456 5669

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