Clinical Trial of Diabetes Regenerative Therapy Shows Positive Results

One of JDRF’s industry partners, Toronto-based Transition Therapeutics, Inc., announced interim data from an exploratory Phase IIa clinical trial of E1- I.N.T., a combination therapeutic containing gastrin and epidermal growth factor that is being developed for the regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells, which are lost when people develop type 1 diabetes. In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes trials, patients showed improvements in important measures of blood glucose control. Among type 1 patients receiving the drugs for four weeks, more than half decreased their average daily insulin usage by more than 20 percent, or reduced their HbA1c levels (a long-term measure of blood sugar control) by 1.2 to 2.0 points in the months post-treatment. The therapeutic combination used in the trial is based on pre-clinical studies funded by JDRF in the late 1980s. Although JDRF did not fund the E1- I.N.T. trials, JDRF has a partnership with Transition Therapeutics to conduct clinical trials in type 1 diabetes of a second-generation gastrin regenerative product, which may prove to have even better effects than the E1- I.N.T. combination. In March 2008, Transition Therapeutics announced a licensing and collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly and Company to develop and commercialize its gastrin-based therapies for beta cell regeneration.