BackgroundType 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease that leads to destruction of insulin-producing beta cells and dependence on exogenous insulin for survival. Some interventions have delayed the loss of insulin production in patients with type 1 diabetes, but interventions that might affect clinical progression before diagnosis are needed.
MethodsWe conducted a phase 2, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of teplizumab (an Fc receptor-nonbinding anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody) involving relatives of patients with type 1 diabetes who did not have diabetes but were at high risk for development of clinical disease. Patients were randomly assigned to a single 14-day course of teplizumab or placebo, and follow-up for progression to clinical type 1 diabetes was performed with the use of oral glucose-tolerance tests at 6-month intervals.
ResultsA total of 76 participants (55 [72%] of whom were ≤18 years of age) underwent randomization - 44 to the teplizumab group and 32 to the placebo group. The median time to the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes was 48.4 months in the teplizumab group and 24.4 months in the placebo group; the disease was diagnosed in 19 (43%) of the participants who received teplizumab and in 23 (72%) of those who received placebo. The hazard ratio for the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (teplizumab vs. placebo) was 0.41 (95% confidence interval, 0.22 to 0.78; P = 0.006 by adjusted Cox proportional-hazards model). The annualized rates of diagnosis of diabetes were 14.9% per year in the teplizumab group and 35.9% per year in the placebo group. There were expected adverse events of rash and transient lymphopenia. KLRG1+TIGIT+CD8+ T cells were more common in the teplizumab group than in the placebo group. Among the participants who were HLA-DR3-negative, HLA-DR4-positive, or anti-zinc transporter 8 antibody-negative, fewer participants in the teplizumab group than in the placebo group had diabetes diagnosed.
ConclusionsTeplizumab delayed progression to clinical type 1 diabetes in high-risk participants. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01030861.).