World’s first drug to delay diabetes development has been approved

Researchers in America have approved a ‘ground-breaking’ drug after 30 years that helps delay the development of type 1 diabetes.

Funded by JDRF, a type 1 diabetes charity, researchers have developed the drug teplizumab which tackles the root cause of the condition, stalling the onset of type 1 diabetes for up to three years in high-risk individuals.

person using disposable syringe put specimen on blue and white glucose meter

Professor Kevan Harold, a JDRF-funded researcher who has been developing Teplizumab for 30 years said, ‘This decision represents a turning point in the field.

‘First, it identifies a way in which an immune therapy to stop the disease process might be combined with cell replacements in those with type 1 diabetes.

‘It also suggests that it is time to screen more broadly to identify those at risk of type 1 since now there is a therapy that can change its course.’

Experts say teplizumab marks a ‘new era’ in treatment, as it works by reprogramming the immune system to stop it mistakenly attacking cells that produce insulin.

The BBC has reported that around 8.7 million people have type 1 diabetes worldwide and the condition affects 400,000 people in the UK including 29,000 children.

For children who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the drug will be extremely beneficial as delaying the condition could help cells grow to an adult size, giving better chances of fighting the disease off.

Beth Baldwin, whose son died of diabetes said, ‘The potential for a ground-breaking new drug to delay the onset of type 1 diabetes will be life changing for so many.

‘The ripple effect this will have will improve diagnosis outcomes and even buy precious time whilst the research for the cure is ongoing – a hopeful reality in our lifetime.’

Photo by Matt C


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