Type 1 diabetes vaccine could be on the way as Catalan researchers take a step forward
Researchers at the Hospital Germans Trias in Badalona (Greater Barcelona) have taken an important step toward creating a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes, which currently has no cure. The discovery, published in the scientific journal 'Plos One', consists of the preparation of nanoparticles in the laboratory that, once introduced into the body, slow down the destruction of beta cells (whose primary function is to store and release insulin). With Type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks these insulin-producing cells located in the pancreas and destroys them. Currently, to combat the disease, patients must take insulin injections. In recent years, Catalonia has become a global hub for biomedical investigation, developing cutting-edge research initiatives and participating in leading international projects. With just 0.1% of the world’s population, Catalonia accounts for nearly 1% of global scientific production and attracts 2.2% of European competitive funds and 3.5% of European Research Council (ERC) grants.
Catalan researchers find a vaccine for Type 1 Diabetes that works on mice
The vaccine works by re-introducing immune system cells, which have previously been extracted and modified, in order to avoid the destruction of beta cells, which are those producing insulin. The vaccine has been developed by researchers from the Germans Trias Hospital in Badalona, in Greater Barcelona. Furthermore, in February, another group of Catalan scientists announced the cure of Type 1 Diabetes in two dogs, which is the first time this has been successful in large animals. In the last few years, Catalonia and especially Greater Barcelona have become a world centre within the biomedicine sector.
Type 1 diabetes has been totally cured for the first time in large animals thanks to the work of Catalan researchers
Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have managed to completely cure dogs with type 1 diabetes through a single session of gene therapy. It is the first time ever that the effectiveness of a treatment against this illness in large animals has been proved in the world. This achievement opens the door to being able to translate a similar therapy to humans and cure type 1 diabetes, which currently has no cure and means that patients have to control their blood insulin levels for their whole lives through hormone injections, as untreated it can be fatal. Diabetes mellitus type 1 is an autoimmune illness that destroys the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin, an essential hormone in the process of transforming glucose into energy for the body’s cells.