A recent study has invented a drug called teplizumab which would slow the breakout of type 1 diabetes in people with high risks of developing autoimmune disease. This marks a turning point in diabetes research in the world.
On Sunday, the study was presented at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association. The results were also published in a prestigious scientific journal.
“This is an important milestone. We have had trials for several decades, but they haven’t been shown to prevent diabetes.” Said Doctor. Kevan Herold, the author of the study and professor at Yale University. “It is our first successful trial to prove that it is possible to slow and prevent diabetes.”
The study included 76 volunteers, ranging from 8 to 50 years old, who were at high risks of type 1 diabetes. 19 out of 44 people, who were randomly received the drug, developed diabetes. By comparison, 23 out of 32 participants, who had a placebo, developed diabetes.
Once the scientists stopped the study, the ratio of diabetes-free volunteers was two times as high in the drug group as in the placebo group. A low level of lymphocytes and rash were the main side effects.
The breakthrough results have excited the research community. Experts hope that it can be combined with other treatments to cure diabetes.
It is estimated that the United States has around 1.25 million people with type 1 diabetes. Among these, more than 18,000 new cases are identified each year in teenagers, who are under 20 years old. The life expectancy of those patients is shorter than other people for up to 10 years.
The current treatment options for this disease include weight loss, exercises, and healthy foods, monitoring blood sugar, and injecting insulin. The new drug, teplizumab, can slow down the development of diabetes by changing white blood cells and preventing it from killing cells that can produce insulin in your pancreases.
The drug might be most effective in the first year of treatment. Patients can delay the development of diabetes further with another therapy session.
However, there might be some hesitance to use this drug in the longer because it would throttle back your immune system excessively. This means you should use it for a short period to avoid being chronically immunosuppressed.
While most new medications are often expensive, costing around $100,000 each year. Teplizumab is worth its high expense for the proven benefits.