BRITS with type 1 diabetes could live longer – after boffins found that a treatment used for arthritis could delay the disease.
Scientists hope that the drug – Abatacept – could become a new treatment for the condition in the next three to five years.
The UK currently has one of the highest rates of type 1 in the world, with 400,000 people diagnosed.
A wider trial of the drug is also planned.
Professor Lucy Walker, of University College London, told the i newspaper: “We’ve found something new and if it holds up with further tests it’s a new paradigm that could potentially be really important.”
“It’s quite a big deal if you can suppress the disease because that not only slows down progression – it also reduces the risk of complications.”
Type 1 diabetes is where the cells in the body that typically produce insulin have been destroyed, leaving the body unable to produce the key hormone.
It’s far less common, affecting around 10 per cent of adults who have the disease.
It is treated with daily insulin injections or an insulin pump.
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This form of the disease typically occurs in childhood, or before the age of 40 and is not linked to obesity.
One well-known sufferer of Type 1 diabetes is Prime Minister Theresa May.
She previously revealed that she has to inject herself with insulin up to five times a day to manage her condition.
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