Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Possible Cures for Type-1 in the News (mid April)

Exsulin's Phase-II Trial is Data Complete 

The exact update I got on the Exsulin phase-II trial is this: "We have finished recruitment for this trial. We are still in the process of finalizing the results".  I interpret this to mean, not only have the finished recruting all their patients, but they have all their data, and are now working on the data analysis / paper writing part of the research.  This is great news, because I'm hopeful that we will hear the results in a few months.

Rituximab Starts another Phase-II Trial

Rituximab targets the CD20 part of the immune system's B cells (different from the pancreas's beta cells) to try to prevent the autoimmune attack. B cells are part of the body's immune system and communicate with the T cells, which actually attack the body's beta cells in the pancreas. By targeting the B cells, it is hoped this treatment will stop or lower the attack of the T cells.

Comment: Most treatments aimed at stopping the autoimmune attack are very focused on stopping the "bad" T cells which directly attack the beta cells in the pancreas. This treatment (if successful) opens up a whole 'nother way to stop the attack: by targeting the immune systems communication and support system, the B cells.

The current research (which I consider phase-II, although the researchers list it as phase-IV) is very similar to the a previous trial which I blogged on before (link below).  The current trial has already started enrolling 50 people at First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University (Nanjing, Jiangsu, China). If you are interested in enrolling, contact Tao Yang, PhD at phone 86-25-83718836 ext 6466 or email yangt@njmu.edu.cn.  There is no placebo group in this trial: everyone is treated.  They started in July 2010, and hope to complete it by December 2013.  This is for people with type-1 diabetes for less than one year.

clinical trial record: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01280682

A Sad Note to the Previous CD20 Research
The previous Rituximab research was led by Dr. Mark Pescovitz who died in a car crash at the end of last year.  That work was published by the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, and was just one part of a distinguished research career.

My previous blogging on Rituximab is here: http://cureresearch4type1diabetes.blogspot.com/search/label/Rituximab

Sitagliptin Completes Enrollment on a Phase-II Trail (as a Treatment)

This is a large (140 person) trial which started in late 2010 and is the follow on to a trial which I've blogged about before.  The goal of this is to lower A1Cs for type-1 diabetics by about 0.3, by lowering BG levels more quickly after a mean than is done now.  The 0.3 number is pretty close to what they did in an earlier, smaller trial. Sitagliptin is already approved for type-2 diabetes.  It's trade name is Januvia.

They completed enrollment in February 2011, I think.  The record is not 100% clear, and it might have been earlier.  If they did complete enrollment in February, then they will finish collecting data about June.  The clinical record says the trial will complete in July 2011, so I think it is reasonable to see results by the end of this year for this research.  This same group published their previous results very quickly after the study was done.

Clinical trial: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01227460
Previous trial: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00978796
Results from related trial: http://cureresearch4type1diabetes.blogspot.com/2011/02/possible-cures-for-type-1-in-news-late.html (but this was combining this drug with another)

Extra Reading

Dr. Skyler has written a wonderful summary of some of the more interesting clinical trials in type-1 diabetes done between June 2009 and July 2010:
One of the things I particularly liked about this paper, is that for each clinical trial, there is a summary of the abstract and then Dr. Skyler's comments.  These comments often put the research into context, discuss next steps, or give his opinions on it.  That perspective is missing from the raw scientific papers.  (Although he wrote this before the two anti-CD3 treatments had failed in phase-III trials, so those are discussed here, although they are already dead as cures.)

Here is part of his summary of the whole year:
That negative studies continue to dominate the field, and that the positive ones still show decline in β-cell function over time, has led to more calls for combination approaches. When I [Dr. Skyler] have advanced such prospects at meetings of paediatric diabetologists, I hear groans. Yet when I have advanced these prospects at meetings of immunologists and transplant surgeons, I hear cheers.

Joshua Levy
All the views expressed here are those of Joshua Levy, and nothing here is official JDRF or JDCA news, views, policies or opinions.
Blog: http://cureresearch4type1diabetes.blogspot.com
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Anonymous said...

Exsulin had published their Phase II results on August 18, 2009

how is this phase II different than the one that was published two years back.

Ellen said...

Does anyone know anything about a study being done at Hackensack University, NJ. It's a follow-on to a study done in primates by Dr. Ricordi from the DRI in Miami. Islets are loaded on a and then implants them in the abdomen, rather than in the liver.

Ellen said...

I guess I didn't check my grammer. The islets are loaded on a disc, then implanted into the abdomen. I was wondering what happened in the primate study.

Joshua Levy said...

Anonymous: I answered your question in the next blog entry.

Ellen: I don't know what happen in the primate study. The research being done in NJ requires a full suite of immune suppressive drugs, so I'm not following it very closely.