Experimental drug delays type 1 diabetes in high-risk children


For the first time, scientists have discovered a drug that can delay the onset of type 1 diabetes in people at high risk of developing autoimmune disease. Some experts call this milestone a milestone in type 1 diabetes research.

In high-risk patients, 14 days of treatment with the experimental drug, teplizumab, delayed the development of the disease by one year or more, according to a study presented Sunday at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Francisco. The results of the study were published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Phase 2 trial, which studies the effectiveness of a drug in a relatively small number of people, is the first to show that immunotherapy can be used to delay the disease. appearance of a hereditary disease.

"It's an important step. Trials have been under way for a few decades, but they have not prevented diabetes. This is a very disappointing result on the ground, "said Dr. Kevan Herold, lead author of the study, professor of immunology and endocrinology at Yale University. . "This is the first successful attempt to show that it is possible to delay and possibly prevent type 1 diabetes."

The 76 study participants, aged 8 to 49 years, were at high risk for type 1 diabetes, in part because their loved ones had the disease, which destroys the pancreatic beta cells that make the disease. and release insulin. In addition, the volunteers all had tests showing diabetes-related autoantibodies that attack the pancreas, as well as unhealthy blood sugar levels.


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