diabetes in the news

Diabetes is known as a disease that requires 24/7 care and critical management of blood sugar levels. However, even the tightest and most aggressive regimens may not be able to get these blood sugars within range. Despite a wide range of available insulin delivery mechanisms, continuous glucose sensors and automated insulin delivery systems, frequent (and sometimes extreme) high and log glucose levels still plague most insulin users.

To aid in the ease and better treatment of diabetes and to avoid the issues with hypoglycemia, the FDA has recently approved Lantidra, a new therapy for those who are unable to meet their blood sugar target range due to multiple episodes of severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Lantidra cell therapyLantidra infusions are designed to replace the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and reduce the amount of insulin needed to control blood sugar levels.

The pre-launch study on Lantidra involved 30 patients, all of whom had type 1 diabetes and were unable to detect their low blood sugar. The results of this study were quite astonishing. 21 patients did not need to take insulin for a year or more, with 11 patients not needing insulin for 1-5 years and 10 not needing insulin for more than 5 years. The FDA noted that the majority of the patients involved in the study had experienced at least one serious adverse reaction to this medicine.  Some of the studied individuals required immunosuppressants to be discontinued due to complications from the medications, leading to the loss of the transplanted beta cells.

For those of you who have or know someone with type 1 diabetes, you may think that this treatment seems quite remarkable. Personally, I have felt the burden that often comes with type 1 diabetes and its management. Figuring out insulin dosages based on many different factors can be both frustrating and can take a toll on the body when it comes to managing hypoglycemia. Lantidra is an extraordinary therapy that I believe has a lot of potential in changing the lifestyle of those with type 1 diabetes and is paving the way for the discovery of additional life-changing therapies.

– Article by IDS intern, Morgan Malatesta