A clinical trial at UT Southwestern Medical Center aims to determine whether adding the hormone leptin to standard insulin therapy might help control the tumultuous blood-sugar levels of people with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes.
This is the first type 1 diabetes treatment trial involving leptin, which is naturally produced by fat cells and involved in body-weight regulation. For this study, UT Southwestern researchers will be using metreleptin, a slightly modified form of the hormone that has been well-tolerated in other clinical trials.
“Leptin has been very effective in improving diabetes in patients with lipodystrophies who have extreme lack of body fat, and recently leptin therapy has helped improve blood sugar control in animal models of type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. Abhimanyu Garg, professor of internal medicine and principal investigator of the trial. “Although we have no assurances that this will work in humans, we hope that the addition of leptin will be beneficial to patients with type 1 diabetes.”
The phase 1 study also is designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of adding leptin to a diabetes treatment regimen.
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