New Possible Drug for Type 1 Diabetes
An existing drug used to treat the cancer type Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis was found to be a possible drug for patients newly diagnosed with type-1 diabetes.
Rituxan, generically rituximab, is produced by Genentech – a unit of Roche Holding AG and Biogen Idec Inc. It helps patients keep producing their own insulin even if the diabetes already destroyed some of the pancreatic beta cells that produce the insulin for the body.
Type-1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body’s own immune system is destroying the beta cells in the pancreas that produces insulin.
The new drug therefore is not yet considered as a cure for the disease not to occur but can be used to help patients recover what they lost from the disease.
Dr. Mark Pescovitz, the lead researcher of the study that found the potential of the drug said, “What this study does is open the door to a whole new way to approaching type 1 diabetes.”