The first participant signed up for Australia’s first immunotherapy trial for type 1 diabetes is all too aware of the importance of finding new ways to treat her disease.

“It’s good to be part of this trial, to help researchers find new treatments for people with type 1 diabetes. Participating has also been really helpful in having access to closer monitoring and support, via the clinical trial team, in the early stages of my diagnosis,” says Lucy, who is participating in the BANDIT trial, led by St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research.

The trial is investigating whether baricitinib, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, could protect insulin-producing cells from the immune attack – the root cause of type 1 diabetes.

If successful, the drug could allow people like Lucy to be able to produce insulin for a longer period of time, helping to delay disease progression.

The two-year trial will monitor 90 individuals aged 10 to 30 who have been recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Now closed, the trial was completely subscribed within 12 months of its launch in November 2020.

Hospitals participating in the trial are The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide.

Page last updated: 21 November 2022