The ties that bind gluten

By Jason Clevenger

Summary: An Israeli pharmaceutical firm announced positive results from experiments designed to test the how safely and well their drug candidate works in the treatment of celiac disease.

The drug, BL-7010, works in a different way than others being developed. It is a molecule that selectively binds to gliadin proteins, rendering them invisible to the immune system. In experiments with mice, this treatment prevented damage to the small intestine as well as reduced inflammation. The company, BioLineRx, is now developing clinical trials to test the molecule in humans.

Conclusion: Since there is still no pharmaceutical treatment available for celiac disease, many companies are engaged in clinical trials to show the safety and efficacy of their particular approach. The mechanism of action varies greatly among the current drug candidates, and an effective “treatment” already exists in the form of the gluten-free diet. So it seems likely that the “winning” drug will be the treatment that best combines a reduced immune reaction to gluten and minimal side effects.


[1] “BioLineRx Announces Pre-clinical Results Demonstrating the Safety of BL-7010, an Oral Treatment for Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity”, BioLineRx press release September 10, 2012, from