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ADA: Abatacept Slows Reduction in β-Cell Function

Administration of abatacept over two years safe and effective for patients with type 1 diabetes

TUESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Abatacept co-stimulation modulation slows the reduction in β-cell function in patients with recent-onset type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online June 28 in The Lancet to coincide with its presentation at the American Diabetes Association's 71st Scientific Sessions, held from June 24 to 28 in San Diego.

Tihamer Orban, M.D., of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, and colleagues investigated the effect of abatacept on β-cell function in patients age 6 to 45 years, with recent-onset type 1 diabetes. Of the 112 patients included in the study, 77 received abatacept (10 mg/kg, with a 1,000 mg per dose maximum) and 35 received a placebo. Treatments were given via infusion on days one, 14, 28, and then monthly for a total of 27 infusions over two years. The main outcome measured at two-year follow-up was baseline-adjusted two-hour area under the curve (AUC) of serum C-peptide concentration following a mixed-meal tolerance test.

The investigators found that, after two years, abatacept treatment was associated with a significant, 59 percent higher adjusted C-peptide AUC compared to the placebo group. There was an estimated delay in C-peptide reduction of 9.6 months in patients treated with abatacept. There were few infusion-related adverse events for patients treated with abatacept or placebo (22 and 17 percent, respectively), and the incidence of infections and neutropenia were similar in both groups.

"Co-stimulation modulation with abatacept slowed reduction in β-cell function over two years. The beneficial effect suggests that T-cell activation still occurs around the time of clinical diagnosis of type 1 diabetes," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Abatacept was provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb, and glucose monitoring equipment was provided by Johnson and Johnson.

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