Researchers in Australia are struggling to recruit patients for a world-first diabetes vaccine trial.
The study, run by Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, will test a nasal spray vaccine designed to prevent type 1 diabetes. The vaccine has been shown to be effective in bolstering immune response to the disease.
But before the groundbreaking research can begin, the scientists need to recruit another 37 people who are eligible to take part by the end of the year.
More than 9000 people in Australia, New Zealand and Germany have been screened since 2007 to determine their eligibility for the trial. But so far, only 84 people have been deemed as having a high enough risk of developing the disease to participate.
The nasal vaccine aims to reduce the immune system’s attack on the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, thus allowing the body to produce its own insulin, which is needed to regulate blood sugar levels.
Professor Len Harrison said the new form of vaccination has “great potential”, adding that in a concurrent study last year, it successfully induced protection against an immune response to insulin.
“It’s a very exciting finding because if we can’t show tolerance to insulin introduced from the outside, we couldn’t really expect to see tolerance to insulin made inside the body,” Prof Harrison said.
The research team are seeking participants aged 4 to 30 who are close relatives of someone with type 1 diabetes.

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Top diabetes professor drafts risk assessment document for frontline COVID-19 staff

The health and wellbeing of frontline NHS staff has been prioritised among…

Public Health England considers low carb approach for type 2 diabetes

The low carb approach is being considered by the government to be…

Type 2 diabetes found to be a ‘significant risk factor’ among stroke victims

More evidence has been published which supports that diabetes is a “significant…