Celiac disease (gluten sensitivity) is an autoimmune disease that results when the body’s immune system attacks the small intestine when exposed to gluten. HLA-DQ2 predisposes a strong risk for developing Celiac disease, and ~90% of patients have the HLA-DQ2 gene while the remaining 10% have DQ8. The only treatment for Celiac disease is a life-long avoidance of foods that contain gluten.
IMT’s approach to Celiac disease is to identify and develop an oral small molecule drug that blocks the function of HLA-DQ2, the major genetic risk factor for Celiac disease. Our platform approach has identified candidate drugs that specifically block DQ2, and these lead compounds are undergoing further development and testing prior to use in patients.