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Science & Technology

Take Two Worms And Call Me In The Morning

Trichuris suis ova (Pig Whipworm Egg)
Courtesy Photo: Coronado Biosciences
Trichuris suis ova (Pig Whipworm Egg)
Take Two Worms And Call Me In The Morning
Researchers at Coronado Biosciences suggest ingesting worms is a good way to treat autoimmune diseases.

“Take two worms and call me in the morning” could soon be the best prescription for patients who have multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

A small human clinical trial in Europe has shown worm therapy to be effective in reducing inflammation caused by an autoimmune disease.

Researchers from Coronado Biosciences Inc., gave parasitic whipworm eggs (from pigs) to patients with multiple sclerosis.

Once swallowed the eggs hatched into worms inside the intestines, which triggered the patient’s immune system to reset itself — resulting in disease remission and less inflammation.

Bobby Sandage, PhD., president and CEO of Coronado Biosciences, said the worms remodulate the immune system rather quickly, but they don’t live long in a human body.

“They simply die and are cleansed form your system. That’s why you have to ingest the worms every couple of weeks,” explained Sandage.

If all goes well Sandage said the company hopes for FDA approval for their worm treatment within the next five years.

Details about worm therapy and the clinical trial was published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal in March 2011.