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Testing for celiac disease without endoscopy

21.04.2006


Professor Markku Mäki and Ilma Korponay-Szabo MD, PhD, of the University of Tampere in Finland have developed a reliable new method which makes it possible to diagnose celiac disease quickly and easily. The research results were translated into a commercial product by a Finnish company. The test returns a result in 10-15 minutes.



A pinprick of blood is taken from the fingertip to test for tissue transglutaminase and endomysial antibodies. An increased level of antibodies correlates well with the incidence of celiac disease. The test can also be used to monitor the patient’s diet.

The Tekes’ research into Business Programme -programme helped commercialize the research results. Ani Biotech Oy and its sister company Ani Labsystems Ltd. Oy have licensed the patent for the new invention from the research team and Finn-Medi Oy for worldwide exploitation.


The research results were translated into a commercial product by Ani Biotech. The quickest test kit contains all the equipment that is necessary to carry out the test. The test returns a result in 10-15 minutes and has been proven to be very reliable and user-friendly in all the comparative studies carried out in various countries.

Diagnosis of celiac disease is traditionally based on clinical symptoms and laboratory testing. Conclusive verification involves a biopsy of the mucous membrane of the small intestine by endoscopy to find the typical tissue changes in the sample.

Celiac disease is a condition where gluten from wheat, rye and barley damages the mucous membrane of the small intestine. This results in a number of typical symptoms in the digestive tract and often also many other atypical symptoms. The condition usually develops in childhood and is permanent unless diagnosed and treated. Treatment usually simply consists of a gluten-free diet. About 20,000 people have been diagnosed with celiac disease in Finland, but research suggests that the actual number of people with celiac disease could be as high as 50,000.

Eeva Ahola | alfa
Further information:
http://www.tekes.fi
http://www.tekes.fi/eng/news/uutis_tiedot.asp?id=5078

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