A World-First Coeliac Disease Vaccine Trial Is Seeking Aussie Participants

Australians living with Coeliac Disease, take note: a groundbreaking clinical trial of a potential vaccine is underway in Melbourne, after the injections were found to be safe and effective in the first round of testing.

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The Sydney Morning Herald reports Nexvax2, which has been billed as a hopeful countermeasure against the digestive disorder, will soon be trialled at the Royal Melbourne Hospital before similar test-runs roll out around the country.

Coeliac Disease is a disorder where the body’s immune system treats gluten, a nutrient in grains including wheat and barley, as a potential threat. The body’s defense mechanisms then release chemicals which harm the intestinal lining, resulting in further digestive issues.

Those digestive issues can have knock-on effects, including chronic fatigue, liver disease, and osteoporosis.

Researchers state the Nexvax2 vaccine was designed to rewire the cells which attack gluten, hopefully allowing those with Coeliac Disease to add gluten-rich foods back into their diet instead of maintaining a lifelong abstinence.

That’s ripper news for the estimated 1 in 70 Australians living with the disease, and the second phase of testing aims to build on the promising developments.

In a statement, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute gastroenterologist and researcher Dr Jason Tye-Din said “The Phase 2 trials build on the data from earlier studies and it is great that Australia is still playing a pivotal role in this work.”

Folks who wish to get involved have been advised to get in touch via the Coeliac Australia website.