Ala-Ala’-Lujah!

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Diabetes researchers from Columbia University, the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases studied the effects of Ala-Ala—a humanized Fc-mutated anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody—on the progression of type 1 diabetes in patients with recent-onset disease. The study was a follow-up to an article by a team that included UCSF’s Jeffrey Bluestone, MD, and Columbia University’s Kevan Herold, MD, that appeared in the May 30, 2002, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The initial study, according to UCSF, demonstrated for the first time that an antibody could essentially stop diabetes in its tracks one year later if used shortly after type 1 diabetes diagnosis. The researchers monitored the same patient population for another year and found that at the two-year point in the study, those who had received Ala-Ala were still using significantly lower doses of insulin compared to those who had not received the drug. Ala-Ala improved C-peptide responses and was accompanied by reduced A1C and insulin requirements.

The Herold-Bluestone team is seeking to better their results in a new clinical trial that was scheduled to begin in September 2005.

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Sources:
Diabetes, June 2005.
—The Diabetes Center at UCSF, August 20, 2005

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