Print 10 comment(s) - last by PresidentThoma.. on Aug 11 at 10:32 PM

It's mainly for pre-diabetics who don't have an advanced version of the disease

A new drug could give pre-diabetics the chance to combat the onset of full-blown type 1 diabetes

The drug is called teplizumab, and it helped pre-diabetics maintain their current level of insulin production for two full years without the condition worsening. The drug seemed to be most beneficial for pre-diabetics rather than those with advanced type 1 diabetes. 

The drug was developed by Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, an immunologist at UC San Francisco, and Mary Clausen, Distinguished Professor at UC San Francisco. The clinical trial was led by Kevan Herold, MD, PhD, a professor of immunobiology and deputy director for translational science at Yale University.

Teplizumab works by using an antibody targeted against a molecule called CD3. The antibody binds to the immune system's T-cells and stops them from attacking beta cells. This is effective because the disease is caused by the body's immune system destroying insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. 

"The benefits of treatment among the patients who still had moderately healthy insulin production suggests that the sooner we can detect the pre-diabetes condition and get this kind of drug onboard, the more people we can protect from the progressive damage caused by an autoimmune attack," said Bluestone. 

Those who have advanced type 1 diabetes, however, didn't seem to benefit in the clinical trial. Some even lost half or more of their ability to produce insulin, which was likely due to differences in the "metabolic condition of the patients and in the severity of their disease."

For those who are past the point of pre-diabetes, don't fret. Just earlier this year, researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona significantly improved the blood glucose levels of dogs with type 1 diabetes through a gene therapy that consists of a single session of multiple injections. These injections presented adeno-associated vectors (AAV) that both expressed the insulin gene, and also glucokinase (an enzyme that regulates an uptake of glucose from the blood). When both genes were expressed, the excess of blood sugar in type 1 diabetic dogs was controlled over a long-term period.

Source: Science Daily

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Makes sense
By chµck on 8/8/2013 6:03:42 PM , Rating: 3
But wouldn't a regenerating the islets be useless because the immune system will continue attacking them?

RE: Makes sense
By DrApop on 8/8/2013 10:52:03 PM , Rating: 2
The islet doesn't regenerate. The drug simply decreases the ability of the immune system to attack the beta cells. But the effect at present is limited to about two year......since the drug doesn't completely inhibit/block the immune attack on the immune system. Ultimately, the beta cells will be destroyed and the individual will have type I diabetes.

But it does give the youngins a year or two to work into getting used to needing a needle every day....especially if the kid is young. And it gives the parents time to learn what needs to be done to live with the disease. Still the end result....based on the effectiveness to the drug/antibody is currently limited to two years or so based on the article. Still, it is a step in the right direction.

RE: Makes sense
By DrApop on 8/8/2013 10:54:01 PM , Rating: 2
oops..."since the drug doesn't completely inhibit/block the immune attack on the immune system."

should be:
"since the drug doesn't completely inhibit/block the immune attack of the beta cells."

RE: Makes sense
By Samus on 8/8/2013 11:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
DrApop, just because the drug was only clinically tested for 2 years doesn't mean it will only work for 2 years.

The trials had to be successful for 2 years in order to be FDA approved as it this was deemed to be the measurement for success. Side effects withstanding, from how I read it (white papers) this drug could potentially hold off advanced Type-1 forever.

RE: Makes sense
By Souka on 8/9/2013 12:32:11 AM , Rating: 2
Wonder what, or if, the side effects are?

RE: Makes sense
By BRB29 on 8/9/2013 8:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
shouldn't it be obvious what the side effects are?

RE: Makes sense
By lyeoh on 8/9/2013 7:37:10 AM , Rating: 2
There's some indication that it could regenerate - especially from cells from the spleen. Removing the spleen often leads to diabetes.

RE: Makes sense
By lol123 on 8/9/2013 6:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
That's right, but presumably at that point the monoclonal antibody therapy discussed in the article could be set in and achieve the same results (by stopping the autoimmune process) as in an early-stage patient who has not yet had progressive autoimmune destruction of their own islet cells. In other words, there would have to be a combination of these two novel therapies in late-stage diabetes type I patients in order to achieve, hopefully, a cure - whereas patients diagnosed at an early stage and with islet cells still intact would only need monoclonal antibodies and not stem cells to regenerate them.

Like I said, there is also the option of transplantation where islet cells that do not even have to be autologous (i.e. they could come from for example a pig) are implanted, shielded by seaweed or other material that blocks immune cells from entering and encountering the islet cells and thereby sparing them from an autoimmune process that could still be left active.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki