A Belgian biotech company, Imcyse, is ready to start human trials of a new type 1 diabetes vaccine.
Imcyse is a company that formed out of research specialists from the University of Leuven in Flanders, Belgium.
The company has been granted the go ahead by British and Belgian regulatory authorities. The trial will be a phase 1b trial, which is an early stage of research trials.
The trial will take place at 18 sites across the UK, Belgium, Denmark, France and Germany. Patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, diagnosed within six months, will be recruited into the trial.
The study has received funding from EU Exalt program that is dedicating 6 million euros to different research projects that are aiming to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Imcyse's type 1 diabetes vaccine uses modified peptides that the company has called Imotopes. The central problem in type 1 diabetes is that the person's immune system starts to attack insulin producing cells in the pancreas. The insulin producing cells are known as beta cells.
The Imoptopes work by spurring a specific type of immune cell, cytolytic CD4 T cells, to kill off the immune cells that are attacking the insulin producing beta cells.
Christian Boitard, head of diabetes medicine at Cochin Hospital in Paris, states: "An Imotope therapy that could be used to treat the very early stages of diabetes or prevent its onset would be a major breakthrough for patients and for public health."
Pierre Vandepapelière, CEO of Imcyse, added: "Imcyse aims to develop treatments to halt the disease process when the first signs of autoimmune disease emerge, thereby preventing the development of the disease and the onset of complications."
Imcyse are hoping to have results of the trial at the end of 2018. The Belgian company is one of a number of companies that are attempting to develop a vaccine to hold back type 1 diabetes.