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Immunic highlights IMU-856 gastrointestinal candidate to mark International Celiac Day

Immunic Inc (NASDAQ:IMUX) chief scientific officer Hella Kohlhof joined Proactive's Stephen Gunnion on International Celiac Day, in the middle of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, to discuss the disease and the company’s developments in treating it.

Kohlhof explained that celiac disease is a severe autoimmune disorder affecting around 1% of the global population, predominantly females. Unlike gluten intolerance, celiac disease involves an immune reaction to gluten, leading to gut inflammation and destruction. The only current treatment is a gluten-free diet, which is not effective for all patients.

Kohlhof elaborated on the disease's scientific background, highlighting its genetic association with specific HLA genotypes (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8). She explained that celiac disease is triggered by the immune system's reaction to deaminated gluten peptides, causing inflammation and damage to the gut lining.

Immunic is developing IMU-856, an epigenetic modulator, to treat gastrointestinal diseases like celiac disease. IMU-856 enhances gut regeneration and strengthens the gut barrier, improving patients' conditions.

Kohlhof detailed the successful completion of a Phase 1b study in celiac patients, which demonstrated the drug’s safety, good pharmacokinetic properties, and positive effects on symptoms, biomarkers, gut histology, and nutrient uptake during a gluten challenge. The study confirmed the potential of IMU-856 in treating celiac disease, and further exploration of its mode of action is ongoing.

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