Diamyd Medical has discontinued a late-stage study of a vaccine designed to prevent people at risk of Type 1 diabetes from developing the disease. The developer ended a European study last month after it found the vaccine was unable to prevent the destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells--a precursor to developing Type 1 diabetes. The study included people 10 to 20 years old who have risk genes for the diseases, as well as antibodies that indicate their immune systems are beginning to attack the cells that produce insulin. Diamyd today announced that it would stop the U.S. arm of the study given that it is unlikely to be successful.
A Phase II, externally-funded study of the treatment is ongoing. "Because we are vaccinating children earlier in the disease process, they have more beta cells left that can be saved," explained lead researcher Dr. Elding Larsson. "This should mean that there is a greater chance the vaccine will have an effect." The company said in a release that the trial will remain unaffected by its decision to halt the Phase III program.
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