Amgen Tests IL-Blocker To Treat Symptoms of Hidden Gluten Consumption in Celiac Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Markku Mäki, MD, PhD Professor (emeritus) at the University of Tampere and Presently research director at the Tampere University Hospital Tampere, Finland

Prof. Mäki

Markku Mäki, MD, PhD
Professor (emeritus) at the University of Tampere and
Presently research director at the
Tampere University Hospital
Tampere, Finland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The only treatment for this life-long gluten-induced autoimmune systemic disease is a strict avoidance of wheat, rye and barley, the food cereals which contain gluten, the environmental trigger and driving force in celiac disease.  Gluten causes intestinal
inflammation, usually with (but sometimes without) gastrointestinal or
nutritional symptoms or signs, and with frequent extra-intestinal
diseases. However, it is impossible for celiac disease patients to
avoid gluten entirely and indefinitely and a third of patients report
symptoms on a strict gluten-free diet. Gut mucosal healing is not
optimal in half of the patients, and inflammation and injury is
detected for years after starting the diet, presumably due to
contamination with gluten in the diet. This is why patients are
requesting, and academia and industry are looking for novel adjunct
therapies for celiac disease. Initially, these therapies are tested to
prevent the consequences of hidden gluten; the ultimate goal being
that also celiacs could one day eat safely wheat, barley and rye
products. Some 20 novel experimental therapies are at present actively
being investigated (modifying wheat or different drugs, devices and
vaccines/immunotherapy).

The present study investigated whether blocking interleukin 15, an
important mediator of celiac disease, reduces or prevents
gluten-driven ill health, both the inflammation and injury at the
small intestinal mucosal level and gluten-induced symptoms. The
experimental drug used was Amgen’s AMG 714, a human monoclonal
antibody, used at a low and high dose, in the presence or absence of a
high-dose gluten challenge. Continue reading