Coeliac drug therapy shows promise

The holy grail of a drug treatment for coeliac disease may be within reach, Finnish researchers claim.

Their study involved putting 41 coeliac patients on a six-week gluten challenge diet (2g gluten daily) and randomising them to oral placebo or ALV003 – a mix of two recombinant gluten-specific proteases.

Biopsies from patients in the placebo group showed evidence of mucosal damage following the challenge diet, as measured by change in villus-crypt morphometry and intraepithelial lymphocyte density.

But there was no significant mucosal deterioration in the patients randomised to ALV003,