1. ITV Report

'World first' trial in Cardiff for new treatment for Type 1 diabetes

Those with Type 1 diabetes are dependent on insulin injections. Credit: Frank Rumpenhorst/DPA/PA Images

A 'ground-breaking' clinical trial has been launched in Cardiff to help prevent and manage Type 1 diabetes.

The Clinical Research Facility at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has dosed the first patient in the world with the new investigational drug. It aims to help the regrowth of insulin making ‘beta’ cells of the pancreas, which are lost in patients living with the disease.

Type 1 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition where blood glucose levels are too high because the body cannot make a hormone called insulin. Those with Type 1 diabetes are dependent on insulin but if this clinical trial works, the regrowth - or regeneration - of beta cells may mean those with Type 1 diabetes becoming far less dependent on insulin injections.

So far, the drug appears to have had no major side-effects, but it is too early to say if it has been effective. The Cardiff team is hoping to attract up to eight adult volunteers to take part in the clinical trial who have had diabetes for more than two years.

Despite everything achieved in diabetes care, advances in prevention haven’t really occurred. More insulin-producing beta cells are needed for those with this form of diabetes and it is estimated that 90% of patients with Type 1 diabetes have less than 5% of insulin making cells left.

– Dr Mohammad Alhadj Ali