Patients in Wales are taking part in world-first drug trials that could bring new hope to sufferers of Type 1 diabetes and reduce the burden of insulin injections.


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Diabetes has been widely reported to be increasing in numbers. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 is not currently preventable and is not linked to being of a particular age or overweight. The cause of the Type 1 strand is currently unknown, but symptoms can develop rapidly with life-changing and potentially fatal consequences. It is a serious, lifelong condition where blood glucose levels are raised due to the body’s inability to make the hormone insulin. In Wales alone, the condition affects around 20,000 people. It is indiscriminate and affects children and adults alike.

However, sufferers of either type of the disease – Type 1 or Type 2 – have one thing in common: they carry the same worrying risks of stroke and heart disease; kidney issues; and sight, foot and circulation problems. This is why this current study, which aims to reduce the need for insulin by those with Type 1 diabetes, is being heralded.

Regenerating properties

The drug, which has yet to be named, is currently undergoing adaptive phase 1 studies that are not unlike those performed by, and they are being conducted with a small number of patients. There is already evidence that it can help regenerate vital cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. These cells are lost in people with the disease but are desperately needed to control the level of glucose in the blood.


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Positive early signs

The Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at the University Hospital of Cardiff in Wales has already given two patients the drug, and they expect to analyse the results of this initial trial very soon.

If successful, it could mean that patients suffering from type 1 diabetes may become less dependent on insulin injections. Enabling a break from such an intrusive form of medication affecting so many sufferers’ day-to-to-lives is sure to be welcomed. Although it is too early in the study to comment on the drug’s overall effectiveness, no side effects have been reported so far. It is hoped this world-first in Wales may one day help others around the world to live more comfortably with the condition.

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