A single dose of a glucagon-blocking drug has been found to significantly improve blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes, researchers say.
REMD-477, which is a human antibody, can also substantially reduce the amount of insulin needed by those with type 1 diabetes.
A team from the University of California, San Diego carried out a small study which involved 21 people with type 1 diabetes.
Those who received the injection reached their target blood glucose levels more than those who were given the placebo. They also needed 26 per cent less insulin to maintain good control compared those who did not take REMD-477.
Dr Jeremy Pettus, assistant professor of medicine in the endocrinology department at the University of California, San Diego, said: “Our study strongly supports the long-held theory that blocking glucagon may have a significant clinical impact on care for people with type 1 diabetes by improving glucose levels and lowering insulin doses.
“We expected that the drug [REMD-477] would have an effect, yet the degree to which the drug reduced the need for insulin and improved patients’ blood sugar levels without increasing hypoglycemia events was a surprise.”
During the trial the participants were monitored for two weeks so their blood sugar levels and insulin doses could be measured. The next stage was carried out in a research unit for five days and after that they were allowed home.
The study was carried out across 26 days, and researchers now plan to carry out more work on the drug over a longer period of time, comparing weekly injections and different dose strengths.
The findings of the study were presented last week at the American Diabetes Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions at the San Diego Convention Center.

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