A cure for Diabetes may be closer than ever

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’s 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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6 Responses to A cure for Diabetes may be closer than ever

  1. Kristy says:

    That’s exciting news! I can’t wait to find out more about it and I hope you have positive results from the active drug. Will be nice to hear about your experience first hand. Thanks!

  2. Meyer says:

    Everyone should want to know about this other trial. Do you already have type 1 diabetes? Have you ever noticed that most new trials only want you if you have had diabetes for days or weeks? Dr Faustman¹s laboratory at the Massachusetts General Hospital (www.faustmanlab.org ) and Harvard Medical School is running a unique trial to remove the bad T cells with a safe targeted intervention in people living with the disease. She hopes to see the pancreas regenerate if the disease causing T cells can be removed. Her animal data showing this cure was first published in 2001 and now worldwide labs all show end stage diabetic mice can be cured. I sure wish I was a mouse but I am a human with diabetes.

    Do you want to know something even better? Dr Faustman is using a cheap safe old vaccine to indirectly try these unique human experiments and this trial is totally supported by philanthropy, public donations and not the pharmaceutical industry.

    I am in the clinical trial and hope and pray that after 53 years with Type 1 diabetes I will be cured. I really support Dr. Faustman’s work and hope she can get the financial support needed to carry on her work.

    If you want to learn more go to: http://www.faustmanlab.org

    If you want to donate go to:
    https://www.massgeneral.org/give/donate/faustman-lab.aspx

    Meyer Stender
    type 1 – 53 years, pumping for 10

  3. Alyssa Varner says:

    Ive been diabetic for 5 or 6 years now im only 14 years old. I hate being a diabetic… Im so glad they are trying out this new drug. I really hope it works and eliminates my diabetes…

  4. Nicolas says:

    Any update on your trial with this drug? Have you seen any improvement.

    And a question: I thought that after a few years the beta cells had been completely destroyed. Does this means that a drug would only be effective for newly diagnosed diabetics? Or can the beta cells reappears somehow?

  5. Meyer says:

    thanks for asking. the drug is not being given and won’t be until phase 2 begins. i was in Boston to see Dr. Faustman last week where she drew blood for further lab research. she told me she did not expect the phase 2 trial to start before next fall (september 2010?). she said she needs $8 million to start phase 2 and currently has $2 million. the question of whether my beta cells are totally destroyed or are dormant and can be woken up to produce insulin is a big question. all the endos i speak to say it is impossible. if Dr. Fasustman manages to get my beta cells to work then it is possible. i hope we get to see the results.
    meyer

  6. Jamal says:

    I am from Morocco and diabetic type 1 since one year and i really hope that the results will be fine.

    Is the joint venture with Gentech positive or not ? because , you say there is a problem of financing the research ?

    Could i experiment the bht 3021 like you?

    Thank’s for your reply

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