Skin drug may hold key to type 1 diabetes treatment

Updated: Sep 23, 2013, 14:35 PM IST

London: A drug, Alefacept, which is used for treating skin disorder, Psoriasis, has shown promising results for treating some aspects of type 1 diabetes.

A small trial on US patients suggests that it can help body produce its own insulin, the BBC reported.

Alefacept (sold as Amevive) was used to treat the skin disorder, psoriasis, in the US before being withdrawn by its manufacturer in 2011; it was never approved for the European drug market.

In the trial, weekly injections were given to 33 patients for 12 weeks, followed by a break of 12 weeks, and then another 12 weekly doses, another 16 participants were given placebos following the same schedule.

The researchers found 'significant differences' between the two groups four hours after eating, the group receiving the drug showed that they were able to preserve insulin while the placebo taking group's insulin levels went down.

After 1 year, the same group showed no significant increase raise in insulin use, yet those in the placebo group did.

The findings have been published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.