The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new drug to treat Type 1 diabetes and AdventHealth contributed to the large global screening effort that make groundbreaking studies like this possible. Now, AdventHealth is one of a handful of hospital systems approved to distribute this medication.
This breakthrough treatment, called TZIELD, is the first drug that can delay the progression of Type 1 diabetes by up to three years in adults and up to eight years in children. To determine eligibility for the treatment, a simple blood test is performed. If the blood test is positive, then an oral glucose tolerance test is administered to see if the blood glucose is increasing.
“For the first time, a disease we thought was inevitable, can now be delayed,” said Dr. Anna Casu, associate investigator in Type 1 diabetes research at the AdventHealth Translational Research Institute. “Now there’s a reason for screening for Type 1 diabetes because its burden can be delayed. This innovation drives me to continue our research to uncover a cure.”
The study, leading to TZIELD approval, was conducted by the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Consortium, which screened roughly 200,000 participants for Type 1 diabetes. AdventHealth served as a screening site.
Over the last four years, the findings were analyzed, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and then sent to the FDA for approval.
“Diabetes is a disease that never goes away, so a delayed diagnosis with treatment like this drug can have a significant impact on quality of life for the patient and their family,” said Dr. Konda M. Reddy, medical director of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at AdventHealth for Children. “This is a historic moment for the Type 1 diabetes community. It means there’s more time to live without the burden of the disease and complications.”
Type 1 diabetes is a disease that occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the cells that make insulin. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, some 1.45 million Americans are living with Type 1 diabetes and 64,000 are diagnosed each year in the U.S.
Patients or referring physicians who are interested in starting the screening process, please contact Dr. Reddy’s office at Call407-896-2901.