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Type 1 Diabetes - TrialNet e-news - Spring 2013

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TrialNet Launches New Study Aimed at Preventing Type 1 Diabetes in Those at Risk

Encouraged by recent success at slowing down insulin loss in people newly diagnosed, TrialNet researchers will now use the same drug to try to prevent or delay type 1 diabetes in individuals at risk of developing the disease. This new clinical trial, using the drug CTLA4-Ig (Abatacept), is looking for relatives of people with type 1 diabetes to participate in groundbreaking research.

Relatives of people with type 1 diabetes are 15 times more likely to develop the disease than those with no family history. A screening test that can identify at-risk individuals years before symptoms occur is available at no charge at more than 200 TrialNet locations nationwide. A screening kit is also available by mail.

Less than five percent of people screened will be at risk. Knowing your risk for diabetes gives you important information about your long-term health. It also lets you know if you are eligible to take part in a prevention study.

Both screening and clinical trial participation offer many personal benefits, including close monitoring for the earliest signs of type 1 diabetes. Early detection and treatment may prevent serious complications.

Abatacept was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005 for treatment of other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.

In a prior study, TrialNet tested abatacept in individuals recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Those who got abatacept continued to produce insulin longer than people who did not. Based on these findings (published in 2011 in the medical journal, The Lancet), TrialNet is now testing abatacept in persons determined to be at risk, but not yet diagnosed, to see if it can help delay or preventĀ  the onset of type 1 diabetes.

“Abatacept’s ability to prolong insulin production, along with its encouraging safety profile, motivates us to research its effectiveness in even earlier stages of diabetes,” said Pediatric Endocrinologist William Russell, M.D., TrialNet Principal Investigator at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and Chair of the Abatacept Prevention Protocol.

For more details about the Abatacept Prevention Trial: