(BELGIUM)

A vaccine that could provide a major breakthrough in the fight against Type 1 diabetes is to be tested in human trials.

Developed by Belgian biotech Imcyse, in collaboration with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Paris – and 18 clinical sites across Europe, the company’s Imotopes™ technology can destroy immune cells that kill insulin-producing cells.

Regulatory bodies in Belgium and Britain have given the green light for human trials to go ahead.

“Imcyse has developed a uniquely innovative technology that appears particularly suitable for type 1 diabetes,” explained professor Christian Boitard, the trial’s principal investigator, and head of diabetes medicine at the Cochin Hospital in Paris. “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.”

Type 1 diabetes impacts around 4o million people worldwide.

“The start of the clinical trial for this product is a major milestone for Imcyse and a recognition by the regulatory authorities of the quality of the data generated by our team,” added Pierre Vandepapelière, CEO of Imcyse. “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.”

The results of the trials are expected late next year.