Roughly 2 million people in the U.S. have Type 1 diabetes, a condition in which the body doesn’t produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone that instructs cells to use sugar from the bloodstream to generate energy, and its absence can lead to serious health problems. A recent NBC News article discussed the latest Type 1 diabetes drug to receive FDA approval. The drug is a monoclonal antibody injection called Tzield, and it’s intended for people ages 8 and older with signs of Type 1 diabetes.
Tzield was developed by Sanofi and ProventionBio, and it works by keeping the body’s immune system from erroneously attacking the pancreas cells that make insulin. Its approval was tied to a phase 2 clinical trial that focused on people with early forms of Type 1 diabetes who have abnormal blood sugar levels, but haven’t yet developed symptoms of diabetes. The trial found that the median time to diagnose people who received Tzield was about four years, versus two years for those in the placebo group.