Innovations in Gluten Science

About

Glutagen is a biopharmaceutical company based in Melbourne, Australia. We are dedicated to developing clinically relevant and evidence-based complementary medicines for those with coeliac disease and gluten-related disorders.

Our ongoing research in enzyme science and holistic approach enable us to provide the highest quality products in support of personalised gluten health.

Misson

Our mission is to promote awareness among the community about the impact of accidental gluten ingestion on the health and wellbeing for those with gluten-related disorders. Our aim is to provide clinically supported complementary medicines that help manage these challenges to support and enhance the quality of life for individuals with gluten-related issues.

The gluten problem

When gluten is consumed, the body’s pancreatic enzymes (pepsin, trypsin and chymotrypsin) which are found in the gastrointestinal tract are unable to fully digest the gluten proteins. Rather the proteins are only partially broken down, leaving smaller, undigested, sections called ‘peptides’.

Most people are not affected by these peptides. For others with recognised gluten related disorders (such as: coeliac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, wheat allergies, bakers’ asthma, non-coeliac gluten/wheat sensitivities and others) the peptides can be toxic or capable of triggering an auto-immune reaction, leading to symptoms, inflammation and intestinal damage.

The only recognised treatment for gluten related disorders is a lifelong adherence to a strict gluten free diet. However, accidental ingestion of small quantities of gluten is common and severely problematic for some.

Our Technology

An innovative natural enzyme

Led by Prof. Hugh Cornel, the Glutagen team hypothesised that if the right enzyme is supplemented to the gastrointestinal tract prior to gluten consumption it may be capable of preventing the cascade of events observed in coeliac disease and other forms of gluten sensitivities.

The Glutagen team identified a unique enzyme, Caricain, from the skin of the unripe Carica Papaya fruit which is capable of breaking down gluten’s toxic and immunogenic peptides.

The combination of caricain’s high activity, unique specificity and the use of an enteric coating was shown to be effective at protecting patients from a modest, but significant, gluten challenge.

Taken before a meal, enteric coated tablets release the Caricain enzymes into the small intestine.

The enzymes actively target and break down gluten’s toxic and immunogenic peptides into single or short chains of amino acids before these interact with the intestinal lining.

The peptides are broken down into harmless fractions, therefore preventing them from triggering the symptoms and autoimmune response observed in gluten related disorders.

Team

Ezequiel Peña

General Manager
Ezequiel Peña

Ezequiel Peña

General Manager

With over 14 years of experience in marketing and management spanning across various industries, Ezequiel joined the Glutagen team in 2016 and was responsible for turning decades of innovative scientific research into Glutagen's first commercial product. As General Manager of Glutagen, he successfully brought the company's first commercial product, GluteGuard, to market by leveraging his expertise in operations, R&D, and marketing. Ezequiel oversees day-to-day operations, including manufacturing, R&D, and marketing.

Stuart Jebb

Business Development Manager
Stuart Jebb

Stuart Jebb

Business Development Manager

Prior to joining the Glutagen team Stuart worked as a lawyer both in-house and in private practice, advising a broad range of clients including multinational manufactures, ASX listed entities and private investment groups. Having previously acted for Glutagen as its external lawyer, Stuart was motivated to join the expanding Glutagen team in large part due to GluteGuard being instrumental in reducing his own gluten sensitivity symptoms. In addition to managing the expansion of Glutagen’s global distribution, Stuart is responsible for, amongst other things, Glutagen’s regulatory and pharmacovigilance compliance.

Cass Green

Product Manager
Cass Green

Cass Green

Product Manager

Our newest member of the Glutagen team, Cass comes with a wealth of experience in retail product development and marketing in a varied array of industries across Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Responsible for the end-consumer and retail marketing of GluteGuard, her role involves forming a deep understanding of the unique needs of our customers to ensure GluteGuards benefits are reaped by as many as possible. Cass, who adheres to a gluten free diet herself, is passionate about health and nutrition and in particular empowering individuals to live a successful gluten free lifestyle.

Dr. James Rothel

Director
Dr. James Rothel

Dr. James Rothel

Director

Jim Rothel is an executive with over 30 years of experience in biological research and development, particularly within the area of diagnostics. The recipient of a PhD from Melbourne University, Jim was a member of the CSIRO team that invented a novel, interferon-γ based, method for measuring cellular immune responses in vitro. The team developed a diagnostic test for bovine tuberculosis that was awarded the CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement. In the mid-1990s, Jim joined CSL to further develop the same technology into a test for human tuberculosis, called QuantiFERON-TB. QuantiFERON was later acquired by Cellestis and became the worldwide gold standard for diagnosis of tuberculosis infection. Jim was Cellestis CSO and Executive Director until its acquisition by QIAGEN NV in 2011. In recognition of his contributions, Jim was awarded the prestigious Clunies Ross Award for application of technology in 2013.

John Bennetts

Director
John Bennetts

John Bennetts

Director

Having begun his career as a practicing solicitor, John Bennetts has gone on to become an experienced investor and has been the founder and director of several successful Australian companies. With businesses spanning across the technology, finance and manufacturing industries, John is a substantial shareholder and director of ASX listed McMillan Shakespeare, and founder of medical diagnostic company Cellestis Limited and private equity investment firm, Mooroolbark Investments Pty Ltd (M-Group). Prior to the establishment of the M-Group, John was a senior executive of the pioneering Australian multinational IT company, Datacraft Limited. John is also a director of several charitable organisations.

Our History

Glutagen is the culmination of decades of Australian clinical and scientific research. Early work by Prof. Hugh Cornell illustrating the biochemical composition of gluten, has been instrumental to today’s understanding of gluten’s toxicity in gluten related disorders.

Prof. Hugh Cornell, a former Professor of Biological Chemistry at the RMIT University and Dr. Teodor Stelmasiak a veterinary pathologist with over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical research, hypothesised that if the right enzyme is delivered to the gastrointestinal tract prior to the consumption of foods, it could complete the digestion of the toxic and immunogenic gluten peptides and protect patients against the effects caused by inadvertent gluten ingestion.

This was followed by the discovery of Caricain, which became the catalyst for the establishment of Glutagen by Dr Stelmasiak in 2001.

Caricain was extensively researched in-vitro and in randomised placebo controlled clinical trials exploring the effect of caricain supplementation on symptoms and biomarkers of gluten related disorders. These trials demonstrated that enzyme therapy with caricain was successful at protecting participants against the effects of a daily gluten challenge.

Prof. Cornell was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2021 for his contributions to biochemical research in enzyme therapy and tertiary education.

Clinical Trials

Prof. Hugh Cornell OAM

Co-inventor
Prof. Hugh Cornell OAM

Prof. Hugh Cornell OAM

Co-inventor

Prof. Cornell (PhD, FRACI) is a former Professor of Biological Chemistry at the RMIT University in Melbourne, AU, with a distinguished international career spanning over 40 years in gluten intolerance and coeliac disease research. Prof. Cornell has authored over 100 published scientific papers and presentations and has held appointments at Birmingham University (UK), University of Zurich (Switzerland), Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and Technical University (Germany). Prof. Cornell conducted founding work on the enzyme therapy for coeliac disease and his research was instrumental for today's understanding of gluten and its molecular structure.

Dr. Ted Stelmasiak

Co-inventor
Dr. Ted Stelmasiak

Dr. Ted Stelmasiak

Co-inventor

With over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr Stelmasiak (DVM, PhD, MACVSc) founded Glutagen to provide solutions for people suffering symptoms due to gluten intolerance. Having held appointments with the Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw), the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (London), The University of Hawaii, Honolulu (USA), the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Institute of Animal Science (AU), Dr Stelmasiak has published over 60 scientific papers, filed several patents and developed treatments for bacterial and viral gastroenteritis.

Contact

Phone: (+61) 03 9087 5464

Level 1, 159 Dorcas Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
ABN: 81 096 990 868