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.
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.