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Medical Breakthrough for Type 1 Diabetes Patients

Aug 9, 2020 by CenTrial

New treatment slows progression of type 1 diabetes

Researchers have discovered that an existing drug for rheumatoid arthritis can help up to one-third of people living with type 1 diabetes live longer and more comfortably.

The drug, Abatacept, works by suppressing the immune cells that cause type 1 diabetes and preserving the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin. In diabetics, the gradual loss of insulin production often leads to heart disease, kidney problems, and other complications that shorten the lifespan of those with the disease.

A two-year-long clinical trial showed that the drug stopped the progression of diabetes for the entire length of the trial and researchers are hopeful that further studies will lead to the treatment being available within three-to-five years.

They have also learned how to identify the 33% who would benefit from this treatment. Using artificial intelligence to identify common factors in their T cells, the qualifying patients are then determined by a blood test.

Janaka Karalliedde, a consultant in diabetes at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, said: "This may have huge implications in delaying the onset and progression of type 1 diabetes." 


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