A drug fashioned from a mouse antibody has halted the progression of diabetes in children and young adults who are newly diagnosed with the disease. By blunting the immune system's attack on insulin-making cells in these patients, the treatment may offer a way to forestall the disease.
The work represents the second time in the past 6 months that scientists have reported success in thwarting type I, or juvenile-onset, diabetes in people. In the earlier experiment, patients received a fragment of a protein that protects cells against extreme heat or other stress (SN: 12/1/01, p. 341: Available to subscribers at Protein fragment halts type I diabetes). The newer study tested an antibody drug called hOKT3gl (Ala-Ala).