Type 1 Diabetes May Soon Meet Its Match


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A quiet revolution is happening in health care, and it has nothing to do with political reform. It has to do with diabetes.

This disease is responsible for nearly 10% of U.S. annual health care spend, the only single disease responsible for a double-digit chunk of this sector that is spiraling out of control.

Last month we reviewed three companies, each with a decent chance of significantly reducing type 2 diabetes treatment costs with new technologies. But despite the encouraging advances, the prospect of a cure for type 2 is still far off. For type 1 diabetes (T1D), though, the prospects for something close to a cure are much more encouraging.

Unlike type 2 diabetes which is caused by pancreatic overload, T1D is an autoimmune disease triggered in early childhood. It affects about 1 in 300 people in the U.S., which puts the total U.S. patient population at around 1 million, compared to the approximately 29 million type 2 patients. The market is much smaller, but because the cause of T1D is much better understood, a cure is in principle achievable.

Caladrius Biosciences Inc. (CLBS) is testing a treatment known as: CLBS03,

CLBS03, extracts regulatory immune cells from the patient, proliferates them and re injects them into the patient in an attempt to re balance the immune system and stop the autoimmunity against the pancreas before the organ is too severely damaged to salvage.

This study is currently in clinical trials.



Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
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My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 about a decade ago.

Too bad this was not around back then.

From what I can see, this is not a cure for those whose pancreas has already failed, but rather is a way to reverse a failing pancreas before it goes out completely. With any luck it will be successful and save future generations from the long term effects of T1D, living on insulin shots or with insulin pumps etc.

As this treatment may rebalance the immune system it might have other wide ranging usefulness for other commonly devastating autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Looking forward to watching the progress on this.

For those with well established T1D, an artificial pancreas is also in the works, and a bit farther down the road may be genetic treatments that regrow working pancreases for patients from their own cells.


Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
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My heart goes out to you for your Daughter, Melensdad.

She is managing it well. Has been on an insulin pump for about 8.5 years. But even with folks who manage it well, its still a daily grind.