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New drugs for coeliacs – is this a good idea?

The launches of Alba/Teva's larazotide acetate and Alvine/AbbVie's latiglutenase for treating celiac disease could drive sales in the US and five major European markets (5EU: Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK) to reach approximately $551.1 million by 2023, or so claims an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The drugs concerned are 'Larazotide acetate', developed by Alba Therapeutics, the brainchild of coeliac expert Dr Alessio Fasano, and Latiglutenase developed by ALV003 by Alvine Pharmaceuticals. Larazotide acetate is meant to make the gut less 'leaky' so less likely to allow small fractions of gluten through and protect coeliacs against accidental low level gluten contamination; Latiglutenase is an enzyme devised to break down gluten proteins into harmless fractions in the small intestine. (For the research behind Larazotide acetate see here.)

But are these drugs really going to be of benefit to coeliacs – and will they even make it onto the market in the UK?

For comment on the drugs' potential usefulness see this helpful post on Alex Gazzola's Food Allergy and Intolerance Ink, and on their chances of making it onto the UK market see the excellent comment by GlutenfreeB, who, as a coeliac and a consultant to pharmaceutical companies, is in an ideal place to comment.

First published November 2014


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