Good news: Complications for Type 1 are decreasing

September 23, 2009

retinaAn article published in August by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has brought great news for those of us living with the big D.

According to the study “Thirty years of data from international trials show that the rate of serious complications amongst people with type 1 diabetes is lower that was has been reported historically.”

In another article published in a diabetes journal, it was reported that the main decline has been in mortality, renal failure and neuropathy. On the other hand overt nephropathy and proliferative retinopathy do not seem to be showing such positive signs.

The other odd issue in the report is around cardio vascular disease. The researchers observed a reduction in incidence in people who have had diabetes for 20 years, but this reduction seems to disappear in those who have lived with teh condition for more than 25 years

While a lot of this reduction seem to be driven by the adoption of intensive management, there is also significant progress coming from the development and use of new technologies including insulin pumps.

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A cure for Diabetes may be closer than ever

September 14, 2009

bayhill-300x93Many of my readers know that over the last 12 month I’ve been participating in a clinical trial for a new drug called BHT-3021.

According to the manufacturer, “BHT-3021 is a plasmid encoding proinsulin designed to tolerize the immune system to proinsulin, thereby turning off the self directed immune attack. This product candidate‚Äôs potential to improve glucose control could reduce or eliminate insulin dependence and long-term complications of T1D, which would address a major unmet need and capitalize on a significant commercial market opportunity”. In plain words, the drug is meant to help your immune system get used to pancreatic cells, and potentially stop the autoinmune disease.

After 12 weeks of participating in the trial, my insulin requirements started to go up, so I wasn’t very positive about the whole thing. In the last couple of weeks I’ve received a three pieces of news that have refreshed my optimism.

I received the first (and personally most important) piece of information when my trial results were unblinded a couple of weeks ago. As it turns out, I was initially given the placebo and not the active drug. What this means for me is that my personal experience is not really indicative of the effectivenesss of the drug.

I have also seen some of the preliminary study data, and it looks like the drug does indeed slow down the immune attack, which means that the drug may be effective after all. According to the study, “In the current phase I/II trial, patients receiving BHT-3021 demonstrated preservation of C-peptide and an acceptable safety profile.”

Lastly, there is the news about the partnership between Bayhill Therapeutics (the drug developer) and Genentech (part of the Roche group) for the commercialization of the drug. This is a huge endorsement and means that there is a serious interest in the drug.

I’ve now been offerend the active drug at the optimun dose, so I will keep updating my experience with the trial. Let’s hope that this is the breaktrhough we’ve been hoping for.

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