Treatment with DiaPep277®, a peptide derived from HSP60, has been shown to preserve beta-cell function in non-obese diabetic mouse (NOD) mice and in a trial with newly diagnosed human patients with type 1 diabetes treated over a 10-month period. This article extends the clinical trial observations to a total of 20 months of treatment to determine the safety and the effects of repeated doses of DiaPep277 on endogenous insulin secretion, metabolic control, and exogenous insulin requirements.
Thirty-five male patients (aged 16–58) with a basal C-peptide greater than 0.1 nmol/L were assigned to periodic treatment with DiaPep277 (1 mg) or placebo for a 12-month treatment and 18-month observation protocol, later extended to an additional year of treatment. Stimulated C-peptide, HbA1c, and an exogenous insulin dose were the clinical endpoints.
At 18 months, stimulated C-peptide concentrations had fallen in the placebo group (p = 0.0005) but were maintained in the DiaPep277 group. The need for exogenous insulin was higher in the placebo group than in the DiaPep277 group. Mean HbA1c concentrations were similar in both groups. After extension of the study, patients continuing treatment with DiaPep277 and those switched from placebo to DiaPep277 manifested a trend towards a greater preservation of beta-cell function compared to patients maintained on or switched to placebo. The safety profile of DiaPep277 was similar between the treatment and placebo groups, and no drug-related adverse events occurred.
Periodic treatment of subjects with DiaPep277 over 2 years was safe and associated preservation of endogenous insulin secretion up to 18 months was observed. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.