Finnish diabetes vaccine trials to start in 2018
A vaccine for type 1 diabetes developed by Finnish researchers will be tested on mainly Finnish human subjects in late 2018, researchers announced on Tuesday.
The scientists first found that the prototype works effectively and safely on mice, and now say
that the vaccine could be in mainstream use within eight years if the coming rounds of tests prove successful.
The vaccine will first be given to a group of 30 healthy men during the first phase of the clinical trials, followed by a group of some 150 children if all goes well. After two successful rounds the vaccine can be considered safe and effective against viruses. The final round of vaccinations, intended for a group of some 4,000 children, should tell researchers whether the vaccine specifically prevents type 1 diabetes.
Virus likely culprit
A virus may be behind a significant proportion of type 1 diabetes cases, which are especially common among children. Professor Heikki Hyöty from the University of Tampere and Professor Mikael Knip of the University of Helsinki have worked on the pathology of diabetes from more than 20 years, and say they are confident that an enterovirus that attacks the pancreas to destroy insulin-producing cells is the root cause of type 1 diabetes.
If the vaccine proves effective in humans, it could do much to minimise suffering as well as expenses.
"It is estimated that the additional cost of care for one child with diabetes over their lifetime is about a million euros," Knip says. "This vaccine could prevent at least half of new cases, which amounts to some 250 million euros in annual saving Continue reading