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New onset study meets enrollment goal in record time
Just 5 months after opening, the Canakinumab (Anti IL-1 Beta) Study for people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes met its enrollment goal of 66 participants. The study is testing whether repeated injections of an experimental drug called canakinumab will help people with newly-diagnosed type 1 diabetes continue to make some of their own insulin. Canakinumab is approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for rare inflammatory diseases
One of the goals for people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is to find a way to save their remaining insulin producing cells, called beta cells. At diagnosis, usually about 80 percent of the beta cells have been destroyed. People who can keep the remaining cells longer have a lower rate of complications and better management of their diabetes.
When Casey Minard was diagnosed in November 2010, tests showed that his beta cells were still producing some insulin. He joined the canakinumab study in January in hopes that he can preserve his working beta cells and help research in the process. Casey’s mother, Cindy, says "We were in a whirlwind at the time - dealing with the diagnosis and the challenge of finding an endocrinologist near our home in Ocala, FL."
The Minards were eventually referred to Dr. Michael Haller at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville. "We were so impressed with the endocrinology team at UF," says Cindy. "Dr. Haller personally contacted us and answered all our questions. We came to the conclusion that we can’t change this, so let’s do what we can to try to preserve the cells that are still working and hopefully help other people in the process."
Casey, age 17 and a high school junior, says he’s really excited to see if the study drug does anything to change the future, and he’s glad to be helping research. He plays varsity soccer and is very involved in his school’s community service club, called Interact, as well as the Latin Club. He also plays travel soccer for a local league in the off season.
Dr. Desmond Schatz, who leads the TrialNet Clinical Center at UF says, "Casey is a wonderful and very mature young man who is committed to not only this study but also to contributing to the prevention and cure of all those with type 1 diabetes."
Thanks to Casey and to everyone who helped to meet this study’s enrollment goal in record time!