New drug could reduce symptoms of gluten exposure in people with coeliac disease

Micrograph of the jejunum affected by coeliac disease

Source: Biophoto Associates / Science Photo Library

Researchers randomly assigned patients on a gluten-free diet to six injections of a monoclonal antibody, called AMG 714, over a ten-week period and found significant reductions in intestinal inflammation

A monoclonal antibody could help reduce symptoms of coeliac disease in people with the condition who are accidentally exposed to gluten, show study findings presented at Digestive Disease Week, held in Washington DC from 2–5 June 2018[1].

Researchers randomly assigned patients on a gluten-free diet to six injections of the drug, known as AMG 714, at a dose of either 150mg or 300mg, or a placebo over a ten-week period. From week 2 to 2 weeks after treatment (week 12), the patients then underwent a gluten exposure challenge.

While there was no significant difference in the primary end point — a measurement of damage to the villous lining of the intestine — between treatment groups, there were significant reductions in inflammation and symptoms in response to gluten consumption.

Patients receiving the highest dose of AMG 714 had no clinically active disease at week 12 and also had a significant improvement in self-reported outcomes, compared with placebo.

The researchers said there was a need for treatments for coeliac disease as even on a gluten-free diet, people are often inadvertently exposed to gluten.

“AMG 714 merits development as an adjunct to [gluten-free diet] in non-responsive coeliac disease,” they concluded.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist
DOI: 10.1211/CP.2018.20205174

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