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"Earthquake shift" in diabetes treatment. First drug approved to delay onset of diabetes

On Thursday, November 17, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug that can delay the progression of type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Teplizumab or Tzield targets the autoimmune problems that are causing the disease, rather than its symptoms, making the drug a game-changer.

Experts say teplizumab is a type of immunotherapy that works by treating the root cause of diabetes rather than just its symptoms; The drug tells the immune system not to attack the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This is necessary to control blood glucose levels.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin, so people have to inject it to keep blood sugar levels steady.

Symptoms of diabetes include feeling very thirsty, urinating more than usual, losing weight without trying, and extreme fatigue. Symptoms can appear quickly, especially in children.

Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The approval of teplizumab in the US marks the start of an earthquake shift in how we treat type 1 diabetes. For one hundred years, people with type 1 diabetes have relied on insulin to treat the condition. Today's decision means that, for the first time, the root cause of the condition - the attack of the immune system - can be addressed and the likelihood of developing type 1 diabetes delayed by up to three years."

The non-profit JDRF Foundation, which funded the drug trial, said teplizumab also has the potential to slow the disease's progression in the long term.

Karen Addington, chief executive of the JDRF charity, said: “The world now has a proven drug that can treat the root causes of type 1 diabetes, delaying the onset of the condition and slowing the progression of the disease.

Publish date: 21.11.2022 Source: The Independent


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