I know sometimes it can seem like we post news of a potential new treatment for celiac disease, promise to keep you updated, and then drop the topic for a while in favor of delicious gluten-free things, or new studies, or anecdotes from my slightly awkward childhood or what have you.

Rest assured, we’re constantly checking for updates — sometimes it just takes a while for something worthwhile to happen in the life of a potential drug therapy. Today, case in point, we’re revisiting a post from 2009, titled Cure for Celiac Disease?. Why? Because we FINALLY have something exciting to say: Alba Therapeutics is going into phase 2b clinical trials, and they’re looking for volunteers.

This particular drug revolves around a compound called larazotide acetate, a tight junction regulator. The compound, at least in theory works by temporarily closing off the junctions in the bowel that – in a quote-on-quote “normal” digestive system – are normally closed anyway. These junctions are supposed to only open to shed dead blood cells, but remain open more frequently in cases of celiac disease. In other words, the drug would plug up the leaks in a leaky gut, and if taken before a meal could reduce the inflammation caused by gluten.

The company has developed a questionnaire to pre-screen people for participation in their eventual trials. If you think you might like to participate in the trials, you can learn more via the website, www.celiactrial.com. Quickly though, in order to be eligible to even be considered for participation you would need to meet the following criteria:

  • between the ages of 18 and 75
  • diagnosed with celiac disease via either biopsy or capsule endoscopy
  • attempting a gluten-free diet for at least 12 months

You can read more via Alba Therapeutics press release.

What do you think? Would you participate in a drug trial (knowing that potentially, you could be assigned to a control group that winds up ingesting gluten)?