A Novel Therapy for Celiac Disease

Today, there is no FDA-approved therapy to treat people with celiac disease, which causes significant health problems, and affects an estimated 2.4 million Americans. Celiac disease is currently managed by a gluten-free diet, which is costly and difficult to maintain. Many patients continue to report persistent symptoms despite adhering to a gluten-free diet. Celiac disease can develop at any age and, if left untreated, can lead to additional serious health problems.

An artistic rendering of KumaMax by Vikram Mulligan in the Baker Lab

KumaMax is a uniquely engineered, recombinant enzyme that is active under acidic stomach conditions and has high specificity for the parts of gluten that trigger the autoimmune reaction leading to celiac disease. For celiac patients attempting to maintain a gluten-free diet but who may accidentally ingest gluten, KumaMax has the potential to degrade the immune-reactive parts of gluten before they exit the stomach in order to decrease the immune response to gluten and reduce the symptoms and intestinal damage associated with celiac disease. Our hope is that KumaMax can help the millions of patients worldwide who are suffering from celiac disease.

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