Background: Lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet is the cornerstone of coeliac disease treatment. Elucidation of disease pathogenesis has created opportunities for novel therapeutic approaches to coeliac disease. AT-1001 is an inhibitor of paracellular permeability whose structure is derived from a protein secreted by Vibrio cholerae.
Aim: To determine the safety and tolerability of 12 mg doses of AT-1001 in coeliac disease subjects challenged with gluten.
Methods: An in-patient, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled safety study utilizing intestinal permeability, measured via fractional excretions of lactulose and mannitol, as an exploratory measure of drug efficacy.
Results: Compared to placebo, no increase in adverse events occurred in patients exposed to AT-1001. Following acute gluten exposure, a 70% increase in intestinal permeability was detected in the placebo group, while none was seen in the AT-1001 group. Interferon-gamma levels increased in four of seven patients (57%) of the placebo group, but only in four of 14 patients (29%) of the AT-1001 group. Gastrointestinal symptoms were more frequently detected in the placebo group when compared to the AT-1001 group (P = 0.018).
Conclusions: AT-1001 is well tolerated and appears to reduce intestinal barrier dysfunction, proinflammatory cytokine production, and gastrointestinal symptoms in coeliacs after gluten exposure.