Phase II Study Shows Long-Term Benefits of Anti-CD3 Antibody Treatment

A JDRF-supported clinical trial in Belgium has found that a six-day treatment with anti-CD3 antibodies can slow the normal increase in insulin use over the first few years after a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. This shows that the treatment, although brief in duration, is able to preserve the function of insulin-producing cells for several years—a major step toward stopping or slowing the disease’s progression. The trial also points to the importance of early intervention: those who benefited from the treatment were younger at the time of diagnosis and had more remaining beta cell function. Anti-CD3 antibodies are proteins directed at immune T cells, which play a key role in the development of type 1 diabetes; they are among the most promising interventions for protecting the insulin-producing cells within the pancreas. The trial results, which reflect four-year data, were published in the journal Diabetologia. Daniel Pipeleers led the study.