Coeliac sufferers could soon breathe a sigh of relief as clinical trials begin for a vaccine that would allow them to consume gluten without enduring painful reactions.
According to Queensland's Courier Mail, The University of the Sunshine Coast's Clinical Trials Centre is testing the vaccine, which is deemed to work by switching off a coeliac sufferer's system response when gluten is introduced.
Currently, the only known way to manage the autoimmune disorder is to avoid eating gluten entirely, which is generally more expensive and can also make for difficulty when eating out or cooking with others.
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Centre director, Lucas Litewka, says the new vaccine will be administered to participants as an injection over the course of seven weeks. Gastroenterologist James Daveson will assist in monitoring the outcomes.
Daveson cited that while sufferers have a tough road battling with what they can and can't eat, it's compounded by the lack of solutions to help them manage the disease.
"There is a real unmet need for therapies other than the gluten-free diet for some people with coeliac disease," he said.
"This is a very exciting potential new therapy that has been undergoing clinical trials for several years now."
Daveson believes that there is a chance the vaccine could even restore gluten tolerance in those suffering from the disease.