Immunotherapy Biomarker Discovery could help manage Type 1 Diabetes Effectively

A host of new biomarkers discovered by scientists at UCL is a breakthrough in diabetes treatment. These biomarkers may help identify individuals with Type 1 diabetes who would benefit from the immunotherapy drug Abatacept. This finding could help thousands of individuals manage the disease more effectively.

Clinically, Type I disease is an autoimmune disorder, wherein the body’s own immune system attacks healthy body tissues. People with Type 1 diabetes are unable to make the hormone insulin which is necessary to control glucose level and use it as energy.

Meanwhile, Abatacept is an immunosuppressive drug that suppresses the abnormal immune  response in individuals with autoimmune diseases. Also, the drug helps to identify a biomarker that will enable clinicians to administer the drug to those who would respond positively.

The research is a result of interest of researchers who sought to find out why some people responded well to Abatacept, and others not.

The focus of the study is Abatacept is widely used to treat a number of autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Biomarker helps to foretell efficacy of Abatacept

Meanwhile, the drug is not suitable for routine use, say early tests in people with Type 1 diabetes. This is because the response varies from person to person, some people benefit immensely, while others not that much. The capability to tell in advance which patients will benefit from the drug may reignite interest in this therapy for individuals with diabetes.

For the research, blood samples drawn of individuals with Type 1 diabetes, who had participated in clinical trials of Abatacept examined. The number of TFh cells reduced due to Abatacep treatment and the phenotype of the cells changed, discovered the team.

Author: Rohit Bhisey

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