Doctors in the national capital are conducting clinical trials for a new diabetes drug which has the potential of ridding patients of insulin injections forever.
The trials for Teplizumab are being carried out at the Maulana Azad Medical College and the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital by Dinesh Kumar Dhanwal, the professor of medicine and endocrinologist, and his team.
The trials are underway throughout the world and in India these are approved by the central government and the ethics committee of the hospital. The trials started last month and will end by mid-July.
Teplizumab is manufactured by U.S. pharmaceutical company Polaris and Britain-based Macrogenix.
“The results of the trials seem to be quite promising. It could eliminate the need of insulin injections forever among people suffering from type I and type II diabetes,” said Mr. Dhanwal.
This new drug which is administered through injection will be given to patients in two 14-day phases. Initially after the diagnosis, the drug will be injected for 14 consecutive days.
After six months, the drug will again be injected for 14 consecutive days, he said.
“Trials are done on patients who are having diabetes for past three months, are in the age group of 8-35 years with weight of around 36 kg and are not infected from other diseases like tuberculosis,” he said.
Mr. Dhanwal said a few patients may experience minor adverse effects like fever, skin rashes, reduced white cells etc but these last for a few hours only.
In India around 100 people are undergoing trials.
The preponderance of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. The WHO predicts that developing countries will be worst-hit by this epidemic in the 21st century.
The International Diabetes Federation in its annual report said India currently has the highest number of 50.8 million people suffering from diabetes. By 2030, over 8.4 percent of the Indian adult population will suffer from diabetes.