Monday, November 10, 2008

OHSU Medical Study - looking for CD patients

A review of scientific literature indicates that there is a high correlation between autoimmune disease and genetic predisposition of certain human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes. For example, the review showed that 90% of celiac patients have the HLA-DQ2 gene; the number indicates a specific version of the gene from a possible 2 through 9. In the past several years, we have developed a novel technology by engineering the specific HLA-gene with an immunodominant antigen to create a recombinant molecule that has had great success in treating experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for MS. Now the molecule is being tested in a Phase-I human clinical trial. We would like to use a similar technique for studying Celiac Diease.

At the initial stage of the study, we would like to find potential ongoing blood donors from CD patients or potential CD patients. We need to screen all blood donors for their genetic HLA phenotype. We are hoping to find a couple of donors whose genotype indicates that both the maternal and paternal copies of their HLA-DQ genes are DQ2. The potential donor should also be diagnosed with, or show significant symptoms of, Celiac Disease. Should the initial genetic typing work show promise, we would then ask for ongoing blood donations from the donor. Those blood cells will be used to evaluate the potential drug.

Donors will be asked to give about an hour of their time for each blood draw that will occur on the Marquam Hill (Main) Campus of OHSU. Donors should be able to come in during weekday hours as our lab is typically not open on the weekend, although special arrangements may be possible. Donors will be asked to sign a consent form and will receive $30 for each blood draw. After the initial genotyping work is done, the donor will receive a copy of their resulting genetic information.

To schedule a draw, please contact Jianya Huan, Ph.D. at (503) 494-9950 or by email:

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