Using a type 2 diabetes drug to manage type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes may have little in common, but a new research study has revealed that a drug used to treat the latter could also benefit individuals living with T1D.

Dr. Farid Mahmud is a JDRF-funded investigator and a specialist in pediatric endocrinology at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. He is examining the effects of empagliflozin (a drug currently approved for use in type 2 diabetes, and known for its metabolic and health benefits) among adolescents and young adults with T1D who are at a higher risk of developing complications, such as kidney and heart disease. Empagliflozin reduces the amount of glucose the kidneys reabsorb into the blood, thereby allowing more to pass through the urine.

The Adolescent Type 1 Diabetes Treatment with EMPagliflozin for Hyperglycemia & HyperfilTration Trial (ATTEMPT) is designed to evaluate the impact of these drivers in combination with insulin therapy, and assess the effectiveness and implementation of the oral medication.

During adolescence and young adulthood, patients with T1D have the poorest blood sugar control across their lifespan. This is due to numerous factors such as physiologic changes (growth and puberty) that make individuals less sensitive to insulin, and psychological, social and developmental changes.

In the ATTEMPT Trial, 100 patients will be enrolled in a 20-week study to determine the quality of their diabetes control. Through the study of novel treatment agents and with input from patients and families, the trial will assess the potential for improved blood sugar control, and a decreased risk for complications that often occur during adolescence.

If successful, the project will be the first academically-led North American trial to use this method to treat adolescents, and evaluate if these agents are effective and safe in the management of T1D in youth. In addition, the findings will be integrated with the team’s ongoing research on kidney disease in T1D.

For more informative articles on health and type 1 diabetes, visit our JDRF Blog

Stay connected on the latest