A long time ago I heard a joke from a mentor about how can you tell if a person is an optimist. An optimist is a person who finds a pile of manure under the tree on Christmas morning and declares: ‘Oh boy, I’m getting a pony.’
Researchers who are trying to identify oral treatments for celiac disease are probably true optimists. Yet, despite my skepticism, a recent study (D Schuppan et al. NEJM 2021; 385: 35-45. A Randomized Trial of a Transglutaminase 2 Inhibitor for Celiac Disease) provides the best proof yet that an oral treatment may be helpful.
In this 6-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with 159 participants, treatment with ZED1227, a selective oral transglutaminiase 2 inhibitor reduced histologic injury compared to placebo; all patients were receiving a diet with 3 grams of daily gluten. Key findings:
- Treatment with ZED1227 at all three dose levels attenuated gluten-induced duodenal mucosal injury. The estimated difference from placebo in the change in the mean ratio of villus height to crypt depth from baseline to week 6 was 0.44 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.15 to 0.73) in the 10-mg group (P=0.001), 0.49 (95% CI, 0.20 to 0.77) in the 50-mg group (P<0.001), and 0.48 (95% CI, 0.20 to 0.77) in the 100-mg group (P<0.001)
- The estimated differences from placebo in the change in intraepithelial lymphocyte density were −2.7 cells per 100 epithelial cells (95% CI, −7.6 to 2.2) in the 10-mg group, −4.2 cells per 100 epithelial cells (95% CI, −8.9 to 0.6) in the 50-mg group, and −9.6 cells per 100 epithelial cells (95% CI, −14.4 to −4.8) in the 100-mg group
- Adverse events were similar to placebo; 3 (8%) patients in the 100 mg group developed a rash
The need for a treatment besides a gluten-free diet is significant; among adults, 40-50% do not achieve mucosal healing/recovery despite GFD institution; in addition, the diet is difficult and costly.
My take: I think it is still a long journey to find an effective & safe oral treatment for celiac disease.
Related blog posts:
- Latigluteanse Not Effective for Celiac Disease
- Drug Therapy (Tofacitinib) Case Report for Celiac Disease
- New Therapy for Celiac Disease: Larazotide Acetate
- Persistent Villous Atrophy in Celiac Disease Despite a GFD
- Real-World Data =Partially-Treated Celiac Disease
- Is A Gluten-Free Diet Possible? DOGGIE BAG Study