New Treatment May Reverse Celiac Disease; Novel Nanotechnology Approach May Be Applicable to Other Autoimmune Diseases and Allergies, Including Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes, & Asthma; Takeda Acquires License for First-in-Kind Celiac Disease Therapy

Results of a new phase 2 clinical trial using technology developed at Northwestern Medicine show it is possible to induce immune tolerance to gluten in individuals with celiac disease. The findings may pave the way for treated celiac patients to eventually tolerate gluten in their diet. After treatment with the technology, the patients were able to eat gluten with a substantial reduction in inflammation. The results also show a trend toward protecting patients' small intestine from gluten exposure. The findings were presented as a late-breaking presentation on October 22 at the European Gastroenterology Week 2019 conference in Barcelona, Spain (October 19-23) ( The technology is a biodegradable nanoparticle containing gluten that “teaches” the immune system that the antigen (allergen) is safe. The nanoparticle acts like a Trojan horse, hiding the allergen in a friendly shell, to convince the immune system not to attack it. Beyond celiac disease, the finding sets the stage for the technology -- a nanoparticle containing the antigen triggering the allergy or autoimmune disease -- to treat a host of other diseases and allergies including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, peanut allergy, asthma, and more. The technology was developed in the lab of Stephen Miller, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who has spent decades refining the technology. "This is the first demonstration the technology works in patients," said Dr. Miller, the Judy Gugenheim Research Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.
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