Report Shows Positive News for a Type One Diabetes Vaccine
One branch of diabetes research that has been prominent in the last two decades is the hope for a vaccine to attempt to prevent the disease from occurring. While attempts at the vaccine have been met with failure over and over again—the most recent being the Phase III failure of a Johnson & Johnson-sponsored candidate in 2011—there is another glimmer of hope in the fight against the disease. A team of Finnish researchers announced last month that they are close to a potential commercial vaccine. Of course, even if they are able to develop the vaccine into a viable preventative measure, there are still the millions of people worldwide who have the disease already, who will still have to purchase their diabetic accessories such as Accuchek lancets and Bayer contour test strips, as well as their insulin supplies such as insulin syringes and the occasional insulin cooler. However, the possibility of a vaccine may mean that fewer individuals will develop the disease in the future.
Promising preclinical research points to a viral component to the development of type one diabetes, with members of the Finnish team developing a new vaccine linking the enteroviruses it targets to development of diabetes as far back as 1995. It has, of course, taken time to develop a fuller understanding of the mechanisms. While most of those with type one diabetes understand that the disease arises from an autoimmune response in the body, which leads to the immune system attacking its own pancreas, the trigger—or triggers—have proved elusive. A University of Tampere professor, speaking on the research, said, “We have identified one virus type that carries the biggest risk. A vaccine could also protect against its close relatives, to give the best possible effect. We know that this vaccine is effective in mice. It is important to test it in people, so that we can be sure that the vaccine prevents diabetes.” This is excellent news for those individuals who are hesitant to have children, since they live daily lives with diabetes and are aware of the difficulties, even if technology now allows patients to shop online for all of their diabetic accessories from accuchek lancets or freestyle lancets to Bayer contour test strips and insulin syringes and pen needles.
According to the researchers, money is the largest constraint that they have to deal with now; while the project has the support of backers in both the United States and Europe, the team believes that clinical trials will come with a price tag of $960 million. While the vaccine seems to have worked quite well in mice, of course there is a need for extensive human testing before the vaccine can even remotely be considered viable. The research team is optimistic that the funding will come to them, allowing them to move forward in the research. Of course, the testing will take a while; approvals from various regulatory bodies for vaccines are stringent, and the potential side effects must be catalogued. In the meantime, there are still many options available for existing diabetics to treat their disease. Because diabetes is a relatively common illness, more and more companies appear every day that aim to make it easier for those with the disease to get the products they need, from accuchek lancets to the important insulin cooler, insulin syringes and other products for monitoring like Bayer contour test strips. Resources for patients will continue to exist, no matter what the results of the latest attempt at a vaccine are.
- What Diabetes Supplies Should You Purchase? 29.02.2016