‘Life-changing’ arthritis drug could halt type 1 diabetes in a third of patients

An arthritis drug that could delay the progression of type 1 diabetes has been hailed as “life changing”.

The autoimmune condition comes about when a patient’s body mistakenly attacks cells that produce the blood-sugar lowering hormone insulin.

Patients are therefore forced to inject insulin at least once a day to control the amount of glucose in their circulation.

A study by University College London (UCL) has raised hopes after the rheumatoid arthritis drug abatacept appeared to preserve the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin.

A third of the patients taking part in a two-year trial experienced no progression to their condition while on the medication, leaving the team optimistic it could be available in as little as three years.

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