Background and Aims
Celiac disease (CD) is a widespread condition triggered by dietary gluten and treated with a lifelong gluten-free diet (GFD); however, inadvertent exposure to gluten can result in episodic symptoms. A previous trial of latiglutenase (clinicaltrials.gov; NCT01917630), an orally administered mixture of two recombinant gluten-specific proteases, was undertaken in symptomatic subjects with persistent injury. The primary endpoint for histologic improvement was not met, presumably due to a trial effect. In this post hoc analysis, we investigated the efficacy of latiglutenase for reducing symptoms in subgroups of the study participants based on their seropositivity.
The study involved symptomatic CD patients following a GFD for at least one year prior to randomization. Patients were treated for 12 weeks with latiglutenase or placebo. Of 398 completed patients, 173 (43%) were seropositive at baseline. Symptoms were recorded daily, and weekly symptom scores were compiled. p values were calculated by analysis of covariance.
A statistically significant, dose-dependent reduction was detected in the severity and frequency of symptoms in seropositive but not seronegative patients. The severity of abdominal pain and bloating was reduced by 58 and 44%, respectively, in the cohort receiving the highest latiglutenase dose (900 mg, n = 14) relative to placebo (n = 54). Symptom improvement increased from week 6 to week 12. There was also a trend toward greater symptom improvement with greater baseline symptom severity.
Seropositive CD patients show symptomatic improvement from latiglutenase taken with meals and would benefit from the availability of this treatment.