Diabetes vaccine fails second step of trial process

An experimental vaccine based on the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase failed to prevent progression of Type 1 diabetes during the second step of a three phase trial process.

The vaccine was created to protect insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas from the body’s immune system. By vaccinating patients with GAD, doctors attempted to teach the immune system’s T cells to tolerate the enzyme, the Independent reports.

Participants in the trial were given the vaccine, the vaccine plus a standard immune-system booster, or just the booster alone. All three groups experienced similar progression of the disease with no differences in side effects.

The investigators called for more research to see if the formula could work when administered sooner or as part of a combination therapy, despite the setback, according to the Independent.

There are almost 350 million adults now affected by diabetes, which is caused by poor blood sugar control and may lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney, nerve and eye damage.

Type 1 diabetes affects about five to 10 percent of diabetes sufferers. Patients must take daily insulin shots for the rest of their lives, follow dietary guidelines and exercise.

Those with Type 2 diabetes have a body that does not produce enough insulin or cells that are resistant to the hormone. The condition can be managed by diet and exercise along with insulin shots if needed.