Experimental drug can delay onset of Type 1 diabetes

June 10, 2019

For the first time, researchers have shown that an immunotherapy can temporarily block the development a genetic disease. 

Recently, researchers led by a team from Yale University, published the results of a study showing that a drug called teplizumab could delay the onset of Type 1 by at least a year. 

For the study, 76 patients were given with a genetic predisposition to Type 1 diabetes and at least two types of autoantibodies associated with the disease were given teplizumab, an anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody that targets white blood cells from the immune system that destroy insulin-producing cells from the pancreas. 

After the phase 2 study was stopped, 53 percent of the patients who had been given teplizumab were diabetes-free, compared to 28 percent who had been given a placebo. The researchers said the next step is to study the impact of giving another round of therapy to study participants. 

The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Read the full NBCNews report.