A two-drug combination therapy has been shown to normalize blood sugar levels in diabetic mice by increasing beta cell mass and reducing the autoimmune response. These findings support the use of the therapy in human clinical trials.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) are conducting a Phase I clinical trial using a patient’s own immune cells to halt or reverse the course of type 1 diabetes for those recently diagnosed with the disease. The trial represents the first time that these cells, called regulatory T cells, or Tregs, will […]
Dendritic cells that have been targeted to express beta cell antigens offer a way to eliminate the T cells that cause diabetes. The study provides solid support for the development of antigen-specific therapies for treating and preventing type 1 diabetes in humans.
In the authors’ words: “To our knowledge our results provide the first indications that a short course of ATG given alone can restore self-tolerance [in mice], a facet that has been previously ascribed to anti-CD3 antibodies.”
The discovery may help researchers more accurately predict who is predisposed to type 1 diabetes, and could point toward clues for slowing or blocking the disease’s progression.
The agreements demonstrate the success of JDRF’s strategy to fill gaps in the drug development pipeline, by initially funding proof-of-concept clinical trials and then helping small companies move discovery research through early clinical testing until bigger companies step in and fund the large trials needed for FDA approval.
DNA-based technologies are helping to uncover the genetic component of type 1 diabetes. To date, 10 separate chromosomal areas have been linked to the disease.