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First human evidence that nasal vaccine could prevent type 1 diabetes

This article is from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute website.

Professor Len Harrison (left) and Dr Spiros Fourlanos have provided the first human evidence that a nasal insulin vaccine could prevent the development of type 1 diabetes.

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Royal Melbourne Hospital researchers have provided the first evidence in humans that a nasal spray vaccine which is being trialled at The Royal Melbourne Hospital could prevent the development of type 1 diabetes.

Professor Len Harrison from the institute’s Immunology division and Professor Peter Colman and Dr Spiros Fourlanos from the hospital’s Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology have demonstrated that the nasal insulin vaccine desensitises the human immune system, suppressing its reaction against insulin. Their research was published in the April issue of the journal Diabetes.

Their research provides proof-of-principle for the type 1 diabetes prevention trial, also called the intranasal insulin trial II (INIT II), which is being conducted in Australia and New Zealand and soon in Germany.

Previous research by Professor Harrison showed in laboratory mice that a nasal insulin vaccine was successful in preventing type 1 diabetes.

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