Pacific Northwest Families Played an Important Role in the Approval of Teplizumab

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As you may have heard, the FDA recently approved teplizumab to delay type 1 diabetes — a huge milestone in the prevention of T1D.  What you might not know is that research participants in the Pacific Northwest played an important role in this historic achievement.

The FDA decision to approve teplizumab was based largely on landmark findings from the Teplizumab Prevention Study which was conducted by TrialNet, a global type 1 diabetes research consortium.

In Seattle, Benaroya Research Institute’s Carla Greenbaum led TrialNet as chair of the network during the study. As a TrialNet center, the Benaroya Research Institute study team treated and cared for trial participants, enrolling children and adults from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

Scientists at Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) also contributed. Led by Alice Long, PhD, and Peter Linsley, PhD, researchers conducted mechanistic studies that gained insight into how the therapy works and who will and won’t respond to therapy.

But it was family members throughout the Pacific Northwest who truly made this research possible. Hundreds of family members in our region tested for autoantibodies so TrialNet could identify eligible participants. Thanks to those high-risk individuals who were willing to join clinical trials, there is now a first-ever treatment approved for the delay of T1D – a significant step forward for everyone impacted by this chronic disease.

Without participants there could not have been a teplizumab clinical trial. Fortunately, risk screening engagement was so high in our region that BRI was one of the top TrialNet centers for enrollment in the U.S.

To recap the benefits of this new treatment option, during the ADA scientific sessions in 2019, TrialNet announced that teplizumab delays type 1 diabetes (T1D) a median of two years in individuals at high risk (stage two of T1D — having multiple autoantibodies and abnormal glucose tolerance but no symptoms). Further follow-up suggests that type 1 diabetes may be delayed an average of nearly three years.

“Not only is this a landmark event for those with or at risk for T1D, but it also shows — for the first time in any autoimmune disease — that it is feasible to treat a disease early, before it starts,” says Carla Greenbaum, MD, director of the Diabetes Research Program at Benaroya Research Institute.

While FDA-approval is a first step, there will be additional steps before this therapy is widely available. The study team at Benaroya Research Institute is a local resource in the Pacific Northwest for information about teplizumab. The BRI website’s Q & A with Carla Greenbaum is a good place to start. For further information, please feel free to contact BRI at or 800-888-4187.

If you or your family members are interested in TrialNet T1D risk screening, please visit to sign up.

Please also learn more about T1Detect, JDRF’s screening and monitoring education and awareness program:

There are several other ongoing trials in the PNW.  Our chapter’s major research centers are Benaroya, the University of Washington, Rainier Clinical Research, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Rocky Mountain Clinical Research.  Look at the JDRF Clinical Trials finder to see how you can participate in the next exciting trial: