“In the phase I (preliminary) trial we demonstrated a statistically significant response to BCG, but our goal in (this trial) is to create a lasting therapeutic response. We will be working again with people who have had type 1 diabetes for many years. This is not a prevention trial; instead, we are trying to create a regimen that will treat even advanced disease.”
This new five-year trial will start this summer. Those who are enrolled will range in ages from 18 to 60-years-old. The trial will use the same format as was used before by injecting patients twice within a four-week period. Patients will then have one injection a year for the next four years.
Not all diabetes experts are confident that this treatment will work. Robert Sobel, an assistant professor of endocrinology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, explains why he is skeptical.
“I think it’s a stretch to say this would have a huge impact on the millions plus type I diabetes patients in this country. We would love to do something to preserve or repopulate their beta cell mass. Historically, we have watched it dwindle and have not been able to do something (in time).”
Time will tell if this vaccine will become a viable treatment option for type 1 diabetes or not.