Drug appears to reverse type 1 diabetes in mice | Science & Technology

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An experimental monoclonal antibody drug appears to prevent and reverse the onset of clinical type 1 diabetes in mice, and in some cases, to lengthen the animals’ lifespan.

Researchers say the drug, called mAb43, is unique because it targets insulin-making beta cells in the pancreas directly and is designed to shield those cells from attacks by the body’s own immune system cells.

The drug’s specificity for such cells may enable long-term use in humans with few side effects, the researchers say. Monoclonal antibodies are made by cloning, or making identical replicas of, an animal (including human) cell line.

The findings, reported in the journal Diabetes, raise the possibility of a new drug for type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition that affects about 2 million American children and adults and has no cure or means of prevention.

Unlike type 2 diabetes, in which the pancreas makes too little insulin, in…

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