Making Bread Safe For Celiacs

Generals pediatric unit. Im not sure that I see miracles happening with the research underway now, said Lee Graham, chairwoman of Healthy Villi, a 900-member support group for celiac sufferers in New England. But the gathering thats happening in Boston is terrific, and tremendously encouraging to us. Formerly at the University of Maryland, Fasano in 2003 published a landmark analysis in which he determined that celiac disease affects many more people than previously thought: about 1 out of 100 people. Up to that point, the scientific wisdom was that celiac was relatively rare, and that a gluten-free diet worked as a sufficient cure. But Fasano and others have since shown that some patients who avoid gluten continue to suffer gastric distress, leading to the conclusion that diet alone is not enough. Not surprisingly, with the market for gluten-free foods at $4.2 billion, ImmunsanT has some company in the race for a solution. One rival is Alba Therapeutics, a Maryland company that Fasano helped start in 2005. (He is no longer involved in the company, though he owns some stock.) The other is Alvine Pharmaceuticals, of San Carlos, Calif., spawned from research at Stanford University. Both companies are working on pill-based therapies to counteract the unintentional consumption of small amounts of gluten; complements to the gluten-free diet rather than replacements. And both are preparing for Phase 2b clinical trials to determine if their medicines work, and at what doses. Albas compound targets zonulin, a protein that is believed to contribute to leaks in the gut that allow gluten to infiltrate the digestive system. Cephalon Inc., now owned by Teva Pharmaceuticals, has a $7 million option to buy Alba if its drug proves effective. Alvines therapy involves an enzyme that decomposes gluten into harmless particles before it reaches the gut. check out here