A Vaccine for Type 1 Diabetes


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Prof. Irun Cohen
Prof. Irun Cohen discovered that a key protein in pancreatic cells, known as HSP60, can prompt an attack by immune T cells. He later showed that injecting diabetic mice with a small fragment of HSP60 shuts down this immune response, preventing the progression of type 1 diabetes.


DIAPEP 277, a vaccine based on Cohen’s research, was shown in clinical trials to alleviate the condition of people with juvenile (type 1) diabetes. It was originally produced by the Israeli company Peptor Ltd, and today is being developed by Aventis, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.