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Generic vaccine could reverse type 1 diabetes, new research says

Posted at 10:38 AM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 14:30:12-04

BOSTON -- New research out of Massachusetts General Hospital suggests a generic and inexpensive vaccine could work as a long-term cure for type 1 diabetes, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported Thursday.

The research, published in journal NPJ Vaccines, showed that patients who had taken the "bacillus Calmette-Guerin" (BCG) vaccine had normal blood sugar levels a full eight years after testing ended. The BCG vaccine is normally used to prevent tuberculosis.

It took three years for patients to see results, but the drug still had a lasting impact eight years later, the Business Journal says. 

“It’s kind of big news,” said Dr. Denise Faustman, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital immunobiology laboratory. “It’s the first trial showing (long-term reversal of diabetes), and more trials are on the way. But scientifically it’s pretty cool.”

A phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment is ongoing. Faustman's lab is still looking for the final $2 million necessary to complete the trial, according to the Business Journal.

“It’s a significant advance since the discovery of insulin, and it needs to be duplicated and replicated and expanded,” Faustman said.

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