‘World first’ diabetes treatment launched as two patients dosed with drug

Medics could be on the verge of a major breakthrough in preventing people getting Type 1 diabetes.

A groundbreaking new trial to prevent and manage the condition has been launched by a health board in the hope of helping millions of patients worldwide.

Doctors hope the new drug will help diabetes sufferers regrow lost insulin-producing cells in their bodies.

Two patients have now been dosed with the drug, becoming the first to be treated with the revolutionary drug, being trialled by The Clinical Research Facility at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes usually treat the lifelong condition with insulin injections, as their pancreas cannot naturally produce enough of the beta cells which create the hormone.

But the world first trial in Cardiff aims to regenerate the lost cells and allow their bodies to naturally regulate blood glucose levels.

The health board said the new drug has shown no major side-effects, but it is too early to see if the trial has been successful.

It now hopes to attract up to eight more adult volunteers who have had diabetes for more than two years to take part in the trial.

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Dr Mohammad Alhadj Ali, who is working on the study in Cardiff, said: "Despite everything achieved in diabetes care, advances in prevention haven’t really occurred.

"More insulin-producing beta cells are needed for those with this form of diabetes and it is estimated that 90% of patients with Type 1 diabetes have less than five per cent of insulin making cells left."

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