Current and emerging therapies for coeliac disease
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Coeliac disease is a common enteropathy that occurs in genetically susceptible individuals in response to the ingestion of gluten proteins present in wheat, rye and barley. Currently, the only available treatment for the condition is a strict, life-long gluten-free diet that, despite being safe and often effective, is associated with several challenges. Due to the high cost, particularly restrictive nature and perception of decreased quality of life associated with the diet, some patients are continuously exposed to gluten, which prevents an adequate disease control. Moreover, a subgroup of patients does not respond to the diet adequately, and healing of the small-bowel mucosa can be incomplete. Thus, there is a need for alternative treatment forms. The increasingly understood pathogenetic process of coeliac disease has enabled the identification of various targets for future therapies. Multiple investigational therapies ranging from tolerogenic to immunological approaches are in the pipeline, and several drug candidates have entered phase II/III clinical trials. This Review gives a broad overview of the different investigative treatment modalities for coeliac disease and summarizes the latest advances in this field.
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