The search for treatment for Type 1 diabetes will be accelerated with the start of a new trial at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London.
Researchers at King’s College London have been working on the development of the new immunotherapy treatment in the government funded NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ to try and slow the progress of, or even stop this distressing condition in its tracks altogether.
The new treatment will be trialled on 24 people and the team of researchers is optimistic about positive results to build upon their previous findings from a first generation treatment.
In the last decade, the number of people in the UK with diabetes has risen by 65% to around 4 million, with around 400,000 of those suffering from Type 1. Treating the condition is estimated to cost the NHS around £10 billion a year.
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health welcomed the trial, saying:
This exciting new treatment has the potential to transform the lives of thousands of patients across the UK living with Type 1 diabetes. Thanks to our strong economy we invest over £1 billion every year in health research, helping us to lead the world in medical innovation and give NHS patients the latest cutting edge treatments.
Natalie Worrall, 20, an aspiring policewoman from Herne Bay in Kent, developed Type 1 diabetes aged 19 and is taking part in the current trial:
When I read the information about this new trial, it was immediately evident to me that I would benefit from being part of it. I am extremely proud to be taking part in it and fighting back against a disease that affects so many people around the world. My hope for the trial is that my symptoms are kept under control and ultimately that I can be part of something that halts the progression of diabetes.
Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP has also welcomed the trial. Watch his response below.