This is a "hat trick" of new drugs preparing to enter phase-II trials for type-1 diabetes. Each one of these has started the paperwork part of a clinical trial, but none of them have started recruiting patients as yet. The first and last are similar anti-inflammatory drugs already approved for CAPS, while the middle is a immunosuppressive.
Canakinumab (ACZ885) Preparing for a Phase-II Trial
Canakinumab is a human monoclonal antibody targeted at interleukin-1 beta, and was approved for the treatment of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) by the US FDA and the EU EMEA in 2009. CAPS is a spectrum of autoinflammatory syndromes, and some researchers believe that inflammation is important to the type-1 diabetes process. It is being developed by Novartis.
There is no location information in the clinical trials entry, but the responsible party is Dr. Jay S. Skyler, so I would guess Miami, Florida, USA. The plan is to enroll 108 patients and complete in December 2014. It is honeymooners only, you must enroll within 100 days of diagnosis. This drug has not previously been tested on type-1 diabetes, but skips phase-I trials because it is already approved for other diseases. It is currently in use in about 21 phase-II and phase-III clinical trials for about several different inflammation based diseases, especially Gout, Type-2 Diabetes, and Arthritis.
clinical trial: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00947427
Alefacept Preparing for a Phase-I Trial
Alefacept is a genetically engineered immunosuppressive drug sold under the brand name Amevive was approved in 2004 for sale in Canada, the United States, Israel, Switzerland and Australia. But not in the EU. It is used to control inflammation in moderate to severe psoriasis with plaque formation, where it interferes with lymphocyte activation. Since psoriasis is an autoimmune condition broadly similar to type-1 diabetes, it is quite reasonable to try it. However, the lack of approval in EU is worth noting; it seems to generally suppress the immune system, which can lead to side effects. Obviously, the perfect drug would suppress the autoimmune attack on beta cells, without suppressing any other autoimmune attacks. Usually the EU's EMEA approves new drugs (and especially new devices) more quickly than the US's FDA, but that is not the case here.
This study will be run at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) and plans to enroll 45 patients and complete in October 2014. It is honeymooners only, you must enroll within 6 weeks of diagnosis. This drug has not previously been tested on type-1 diabetes, but is already approved for other diseases, as described above. It is currently in use in about 37 phase-II, phase-III, and phase-IV clinical trials (several completed) for several diseases, especially Psoriasis. This study is done in collaboration with Astellas Pharma US, Inc.
clinical trial: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00965458
Rilonacept Preparing for a Phase-II Trial
This drug is has been available since 2008 to treat CAPS under the name Arcalyst. It is an interleukin-1 inhibitor.
This study will be run at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, Texas, USA) and plans to enroll 72 patients and complete in June 2012. It is ultra-honeymooners only, you must enroll within 2 weeks of diagnosis. This drug has not previously been tested on type-1 diabetes, but skips phase-I trials because it is already approved for other diseases. It is currently in use in about 12 phase-II and phase-III clinical trials for about several different inflammation based diseases, especially Gout.
clinical trial: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00962026
wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rilonacept (but not much here)
All the views expressed here are those of Joshua Levy, and nothing here is official JDRF or JDCA news, views, policies or opinions.