NEW DELHI: It comes as a new hope for people with type-1 diabetics, fed up of taking lifelong insulin shots in their abdomen and thighs. In what is being termed as a major breakthrough, scientists are clinically trying a new drug which shows potential of stalling and reversing type-1 diabetes in less than one week’s time.
A drug, named Otelixizumab, that has to be given as a daily jab for six days in a row, could help preserve the patient’s natural ability to produce insulin for years. It does so by halting damage to the pancreas, allowing it to carry on producing its own insulin. Type-1 diabetes, which tends to affect young people, more often occurs when the immune system starts to attack healthy tissues such as insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Once a person suffers from full-fledged type-1 diabetes, there is no other cure but lifelong insulin shots.
Dr Anoop Mishra, head of the department of diabetes of Fortis Hospitals, said, “Some of these immune mechanisms that cause type-1 diabetes have been target of drug development for quite some time.
If given in early stages when destruction of pancreatic beta cells is not complete, this would help in either treating or preventing type-1 diabetes for which there is no treatment except lifelong insulin.”
In earlier clinical trials, involving patients with new-onset type-1 diabetes, Otelixizumab helped preserve the function of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, and reduced the amount of insulin needed to control blood glucose levels, for 18 months after only six days of Otelixizumab administration.
Kounteya Sinha, TNN