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31.01.2020 News

Halfway there: The biggest type 1 diabetes prevention trial for babies reaches important milestone

Holly from Svedala (Skåne region) is the 520th study participant © Clinical Research Centre, Lunds Universitet

The goal of the POInT study: A world without type 1 diabetes © CRTD

One of Europe’s largest type 1 diabetes research cooperations has passed a significant milestone: The international platform GPPAD (“The Global Platform for the Prevention of Autoimmune Diabetes”) has successfully included 520 babies across Europe in the type 1 diabetes prevention trial POInT (Primary Oral Insulin Trial) – half of the targeted 1040 participants. Participant number 520 is Holly from Svedala (Skåne Region).

The POInT study aims to train the immune system and by this prevent type 1 diabetes in children with an increased genetic risk for the disease. Study sites in five European countries (Germany, Belgium, Poland, Sweden and Great Britain) started working on the innovative trial in November 2017, among them the research team around Prof. Dr. Ezio Bonifacio, Group leader at the Center for Regenerative Therapies TU Dresden and Prof. Dr. med. Reinhard Berner, Director of the Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden.

“We are very happy to have reached this important mark in our recruitment efforts and would like to express our gratitude towards the participating families”, Prof. Bonifacio states. “If oral insulin proves to be effective against type 1 diabetes, our vision of a world without type 1 diabetes will be a big step closer. But already today, the families benefit from early detection through counseling and the excellent medical care that all of our study sites provide, including a reduction of complications in the event that they are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.”

In order to take part in the POInT study, newborns until the age of 4 months are screened for an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Only a few drops of blood are needed for the screening as taken directly form umbilical cord at birth or later from the child’s hand or heel. Parents have the opportunity free of charge to test their children in this test in Bavaria, Saxony, Thuringia and Lower Saxony.

GPPAD is funded by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.