Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease caused by an inappropriate response to gluten in ingested grains. The disease has a variety of clinical manifestations, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, osteoporosis, anemia, and an increased risk of diabetes and malignancies. The overall prevalence of celiac disease in the U.S. and Europe is approximately 1:133. There are no products on the market for celiac disease; the only available treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet.
Avaxia is developing orally administered anti-gluten antibodies for celiac disease. The antibodies will neutralize low levels of gluten in the small intestine and are designed for use in association with a gluten-free diet. The product will primarily be taken with meals when low levels of gluten cannot be avoided (travel, social and business functions). Patients who cannot control their disease with a gluten-free diet may be dosed chronically.