Welsh patients to test revolutionary insulin drug

September 14, 2018

A new drug that helps regeneration of insulin-making cells especially in Type 1 diabetics has been developed.

About 19,000 people live with Type 1 of the condition in Wales and 90% have less than 5% of these cells left.This means daily insulin shots but if the drug proves successful, it could reduce the dependency on injections

The trials are being conducted by researchers at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and two people have already been given the drug.

The Welsh Government spends an estimate of £500million a year treating people with diabetes.

With the majority of diabetics (about 170,000) having Type 2, diabetes costs the NHS in Wales approximately £500m a year, 10% of its annual budget.

About 80% of this is spent on managing complications, most of which could be prevented.

The first two patients in the world have been dosed with the trial drug, which helps re-grow insulin-making beta cells of the pancreas, lost in patients living with the disease.

They were closely monitored over 72 hours and so far, neither has had any major side effects.

Denise Davies, from Sully in the Vale of Glamorgan, is the second person to take part in the trial.The 56-year-old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2009 after experiencing weight loss, vision problems and inexplicable thirst.

She said she initially found it very difficult to keep her condition under control using insulin injections.“It’s just so intense. You cannot take a break from it,” she said.

“It just dominates every part of every day, such as driving a car, going for a walk, or walking the dog. Everything requires meticulous planning.”

Cardiff’s Clinical Research Facility (CRF) team is now looking to recruit up to eight adult volunteers who have had diabetes for more than two years to take part wider-ranging clinical trials.

Professor Dayan, who is leading the team in Cardiff said: “The CRF team have made it possible to closely monitor the patients for 72 hours after their dose and I am proud of the team for their commitment in making sure this clinical trial happens as smoothly as possible.”

“Despite everything achieved in diabetes care, advances in prevention haven’t really occurred,” said Dr Mohammad Alhadj Ali, who is working on the trials.

“More insulin-producing beta cells are needed for those with this form of diabetes.”

The Welsh Government’s Health and Care Research Wales team member Carys Thomas said the work could prove “ground-breaking”.

“It is essential that the NHS works closely with the pharmaceutical industry on research like this to develop drugs that could make a big difference to people’s lives.”




Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

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