AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)- Researchers at the University of Colorado have found a cure for Type 1 Diabetes-- in mice.
The research team will determine if it could prevent the disease in humans as well.
"I love T-cells and I want to know what they can do and everything I can know about them," said Dr. David Wagner, CU Associate Professor of Medicine.
Wagner isolated the specific T-cells that attack the pancreas and cause most cases of Type 1 Diabetes. The research team has developed a drug that attacks those bad cells.
"I think it could have huge implications," said Wagner. "Right now we're calling it cd40 inhibitory peptide. That will not be the name."
It's having an impressive effect on mice. The drug is not only preventing mice from developing diabetes, it's also reversing the effects of diabetes in mice that already have the disease.
"That lasts for as long as we administer the drug," said Wagner.
The next step is FDA approval and then human trials.
Wagner also said he's developed a blood test that could predict who will develop Type 1 Diabetes.
"When we detect somebody who is very much at high risk we can treat you so you never have to go through this process. It's a nasty disease," said Wagner.
That could mean a life without finger pricks and insulin injections for generations of children. The discovery made in the lab may impact something even bigger.
"It turns out these cells are involved in multiple sclerosis as well as diabetes so what I want to know is what are they doing there and can I fix them in that disease as well as diabetes?" said Wagner.
If all goes according to plan, the drug could reach the market in the next five to 10 years. Wagner said he's not sure if the treatment offers hope for adults with Type 2 Diabetes.
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