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This ‘game-changing’ treatment can delay Type 1 diabetes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment that can help those with genetic markers for Type 1 diabetes delay getting the disease, according to U.S. News & World Report.

This is the first approved therapy for preventing Type 1 diabetes. The treatment is the monoclonal antibody teplizumab, but it will be marketed as Tzield.

Clinical trials found that Tzield helped to delay the progression of diabetes by just over two years, and for some participants, the benefits have lasted longer, per CNN.

According to ABC News, the medication helps to slow down the body’s attack on its insulin-producing cells, saving patients from a costly disease. The treatment is “game-changing,” according to Dr. Mary Pat Gallagher, pediatric director of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone.

“There are almost 2 million people in the United States who have Type 1 diabetes now, and it’s increasing in frequency,” Gallagher told USA Today.

About 8.7 million people suffer from Type 1 diabetes worldwide, and experts say this new biologic therapy can make a significant difference for young people who could develop the chronic disease, according to BBC.

The therapy was approved to delay stage 3 Type 1 diabetes in adults and children 8 and older with stage 2 Type 1 diabetes, ABC News reported.

“A delay in the onset of type 1 diabetes will have a tremendous impact on the daily lives of people at risk for diabetes, their families, and the overall health system,” the CEO of nonprofit JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Aaron Kowalski, said.

Tzield is delivered through intravenous infusion and costs about $194,000 for the whole treatment.

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