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Doctors optimistic about first treatment approved by the FDA to delay the onset of Type 1 diabetes

Doctors say it's the biggest breakthrough in Type 1 diabetes since insulin itself was discovered.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The FDA recently approved the first treatment to delay the onset of Type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Mark Guido is an endocrinologist with Novant Health. He said the antibody, marketed under the brand name Tzield, slows down the destruction of the pancreas.

“It kind of helps put the brakes on the part to the body's destruction on the part of the pancreas that makes insulin,” Dr. Guido said. “It can help slow down the progression to full-blown type one diabetes for about two years. It doesn't prevent it, but it can help prevent it from developing."

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. The disease, typically developed in adolescence can impact anyone at any age. If left untreated it can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, and even death.

“This is probably the biggest breakthrough in Type 1 diabetes since insulin itself was discovered,” Dr. Guido said. “Between 100 years ago and now really the only treatments we've had have been insulin. It's definitely the first step towards a brighter future.”

Tzield is approved for use in people 8 and older. Dr. Guido said the treatment is indicated for patients who seem to have a high risk of Type 1 diabetes. These are patients who have a close family member with type one diabetes such as a sibling, a parent, or a child. 

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