Researchers believe they have identified a way to prevent type 1 diabetes by restoring the immune system’s natural balance. The approach may also prove effective for battling other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and eczema, they hope.
It could also have benefits for people who have already developed diabetes: The researchers believe it could reduce or eliminate the need to take drugs that suppress the immune system after islet transplantation, a promising potential treatment for diabetes that is now being investigated.
The scientists, at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University, are seeking partners in the pharmaceutical industry who can make the product they need, a concentrated form of an antibody called human immunoglobulin, or IgM. That’s their next step before they can begin human testing to determine IgM’s effectiveness at preventing diabetes.
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