Research Conference 2015 - Coeliac disease; prevention and therapeutic advances
Our Research Conference 2015, entitled ‘Coeliac disease: prevention and therapeutic advances’ was held on 11 March at the Royal College of Physicians, London. Invited speakers travelled from around the world to present some of the latest research in new therapies for coeliac disease.
For 2015 we had a call for abstracts and introduced a competition with a £500 prize for the best poster. The winning abstract, ‘Pre-Endoscopy point of care testing for coeliac disease in anaemia: a cost saving economic model’ was submitted by Dr Peter Mooney, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield. Dr Mooney will use his prize money to attend the Digestive Disease Week, 2015, Washington, USA. The winning abstract, along with all those presented at the conference can be viewed within the delegates' brochure.
Our annual Research Conference is an event we organise for healthcare professionals and researchers working in the field of coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, to provide them with the opportunity for continuing professional development and to share their experiences of working in practice.
The conference was approved by The Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom for 3 category 1 (external) CPD credits and supported by the Primary Care Society of Gastroenterology. The British Dietetic Association, Centre for Education and Development endorsed the educational content of the learning activity.
We filmed the event to extend its reach to those healthcare professionals and researchers who were unsuccessful in securing a place at the conference and for our Members who also like to be kept informed of research into coeliac disease.
Professor of Immunology, Ludvig Sollid, provided an explanation of the known steps in the disease process in coeliac disease and the potential target areas for new treatments. At the end of the presentation there was a summary of the therapeutics currently in development for coeliac disease.
Dr Bob Anderson, Chief Scientific Officer at Immusan T Inc. spoke about a vaccine to restore immune tolerance to gluten.
Gluten degradation by ALV003, a novel drug candidate in phase 2B clinical development for coeliac disease
Dr Daniel Adelman, Chief Medical Officer at Alvine Pharmaceuticals, spoke about ongoing symptoms in coeliac disease and an enzyme which is being tested for its ability to break down gluten into less toxic or non toxic fragments, which could potentially be used in combination with a gluten-free diet.
Dr Elena Verdu presented elafin, a protein that can be found in many linings within the body. Elafin may have a role in delaying the breakdown of gluten into toxic fragments. People with coeliac disease have lower levels of elafin in the small intestine compared with people without coeliac disease.
Professor Koning’s presentation asked ‘is there light at the end of the tunnel?’ It started off with showing that many enzyme preparations available in health food shops, claiming to break down gluten, do not eliminate the toxic fragments of gluten for people with coeliac disease. The light was switched back on when other options were discussed.
Dr Gilissen from the Wageningen Research Centre, The Netherlands, presented plant and food technological approaches in support of coeliac disease, including alternative grains and genetically modified grains.
Sabine Vriezinga, presented results from the PreventCD study. The effects of breastfeeding and the age at which gluten was introduced into the diets of infants were discussed in respect to risk for coeliac disease.
This event was kindly sponsored by Cereal Partners UK, Glutafin and Thermo Fisher.