The Biggest Type 1 Diabetes Prevention Trial for Babies Has Passed an Important Milestone

Baby Holly from Svedala in southern Sweden is participant number 520 in the type 1 diabetes prevention trial POInT. One of Europe’s largest type 1 diabetes research cooperations has thus passed a significant milestone.

POInT participant Baby Holly from Sweden. Source: Clinical Research Centre, Lunds Universitet

Including Baby Holly into the Primary Oral Insulin Trial POINT has led the international platform GPPAD (“The Global Platform for the Prevention of Autoimmune Diabetes”) halfway through the targeted 1040 participants across Europe. Holly’s father Markus is affected by type 1-diabetes. Her mother Jinni is glad, that her daughter is participating I the study. “We have not been worried, but we think it is good that we can keep track of her”, says Jinni.

The POInT study aims to train the immune system and by this prevent type 1 diabetes in children with an increased genetic risk for the disease. Study sites in Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, and Great Britain started working on the innovative trial in November 2017, among them the research team around Prof. Dr. Anette-Gabriele Ziegler, Director of the Institute of Diabetes Research at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. “We are very happy to have reached this important mark in our recruitment efforts and would like to express our gratitude towards the participating families”, Prof. Ziegler states. “If oral insulin proves to be effective against type 1 diabetes, our vision of a world without type 1 diabetes will be a big step closer. But already today, the families benefit from early detection through counseling and the excellent medical care that all of our study sites provide, including a reduction of complications in the event that they are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.”

In order to take part in the POInT study, newborns until the age of 4 months are screened for an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Only a few drops of blood are needed for the screening as taken directly form umbilical cord at birth or later from the child’s hand or heel. Parents have the opportunity free of charge to test their children in this test in Bavaria, Saxony, Thuringia and Lower Saxony.

GPPAD is funded by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.