In DepthClinical Trials

Experimental drug holds off type 1 diabetes

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Science  14 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6445, pp. 1021
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6445.1021

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Culminating a 33-year odyssey, scientists this week reported a milestone in type 1 diabetes: evidence that it can be held off. At the American Diabetes Association meeting in San Francisco, California, and in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers reported that 2 weeks of an experimental drug delayed disease by an average of about 2 years in young people at very high risk. More than 1 million people in the United States have type 1 diabetes, which requires constant blood sugar monitoring and can lead to complications including heart disease and kidney failure. Years before diagnosis, the sentries of the immune system, T cells, begin to attack β cells in the pancreas. But those insulin-secreting cells are still largely intact, offering a window for intervention.