JDRF is pleased to announced a new clinical trial to slow the development of newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes (T1D) in children. The trial will begin recruitment next year to test a new application of an existing drug, currently approved for use in children with juvenile arthritis.
This is a world first for paediatric use of this drug in type 1 diabetes – other ongoing international trials are studying adults. Currently there is no alternative clinical trial that can be offered to newly diagnosed paediatric patients with type 1 diabetes in Australia. The target for patient recruitment is 66, initially across NSW and QLD with further scope to extend to other sites.
The trial will be launched with $5m in funding, jointly supplied by the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) (funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)) and the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network (T1DCRN).
The T1DCRN is supported by the Australian Government through the Special Research Initiative for Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes, a $35 million grant funded through the Australian Research Council. The $35 million commitment was the largest-ever government investment in T1D research. This innovative clinical research program, led by JDRF Australia, brings together researchers, patients, industry and international networks with a strong focus on those most affected by this chronic disease – the patients.
In this trial children aged between 6 and 17 years of age, who are within 100 days of diagnosis with T1D, will be randomly allocated to a placebo or a treatment group. The treatment group will test a drug that is listed on the PBS for juvenile arthritis, and which blocks the action of a specific pro-inflammatory molecule called IL-6.
To bring this trial to Australia JDRF partnered with the ITN, an international clinical research consortium funded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the United States’ National Institutes of Health. Their mission is to accelerate the clinical development of immune tolerance therapies including Type 1 Diabetes.
Mike Wilson said it was another great example of research being brought into day to day life. “If this existing drug can be proven to slow the development of type 1 diabetes in children, it will be life-changing, giving them a huge head-start in managing this disease.”
To join JDRF’s community of people who have put their hand up to get involved with clinical research into type 1 diabetes (T1D) please sign up here.