Houston, Texas 77030

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1


We hypothesize that ingested human recombinant interferon-alpha (hrIFN-a) will prolong the "honeymoon" period and enhance B cell survival in type 1 diabetes in a phase II randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. We have demonstrated that ingested IFN-a prevents type 1 diabetes in the NOD mouse, prolongs the "honeymoon" period in newly diagnosed type 1 diabetics, and delays murine islet allograft rejection. The natural history of type 1 diabetes is unique for a phase frequently referred as the "honeymoon," a period in which the insulin need becomes minimal and glycemic control improves. The B cell (the insulin producing cell) partially recovers. However, as with all honeymoons, they end and the patient becomes completely insulin-deficient. The general consensus of the international diabetes community is to test potential preventive therapies for type 1 diabetes in newly diagnosed patients. Prolongation of the honeymoon as the reversal of the disease is considered a positive result. In this phase II randomized, double-blind, parallel-design clinical trial we will determine whether ingested (oral) human recombinant IFN-a will prolong the "honeymoon" period and increase counterregulatory anti-inflammatory cytokine(s). We will determine the safety and efficacy of 30,000 units ingested hrIFN-a vs placebo in eighty patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes in a phase II trial for one year. Primary outcome measures will be a 30% increase in C-peptide levels released after Sustacal stimulation at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after entry. Secondary outcome will be decreasing titers of islet cell antibodies (ICA). If successful, a larger and longer phase III trial of prevention of type 1 diabetes in high risk patients will be undertaken. We will also determine if ingested hrIFN-a increases IL-4, IL-10 or IFN-a production in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PMNC) from patients with recent onset type 1 diabetes.


Inclusion Criteria: - Newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes (within one month of diagnosis). - IDDM patients: Prepubescent, adolescent, or early adult patients. Exclusion Criteria: - Patients below the age of 3 or over 25. - Patients will not be eligible if they are on immunosuppressive or immunostimulatory medications such as azathioprine, oral nicotinamide, superoxide dismutase-desferroxamine, vitamin E, aminoguanidine, oral insulin or other experimental therapies at any time. - Patients with a history of alcoholism, renal, cardiac, or pulmonary disease or in whom intellectual functioning is impaired sufficiently to interfere with the understanding of the protocol, or participation in the treatment and evaluation program - Patients who are pregnant or nursing, or those who are not willing to practice an acceptable birth control method - Patients with abnormal pre-treatment values on WBC or who are receiving potentially hepatotoxic medications

Study is Available At:

Original ID:




Secondary ID:


Study Acronym:

Brief Title:

Ingested Interferon Alpha: Prolongation or Permanence of the "Honeymoon" Phase in Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Official Title:

Overall Status:

Active, not recruiting

Study Phase:

Phase 2



Minimum Age:

3 Years

Maximum Age:

25 Years

Quick Facts

Healthy Volunteers
Oversight Has DMC
Study Is FDA Regulated
Study Is Section 801
Has Expanded Access

Study Source:

National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)

Oversight Authority:

United States: Federal Government

Reasons Why Stopped:

Study Type:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Para

Number of Arms:


Number of Groups:


Total Enrollment:


Enrollment Type:

Study Dates

Verification Date:December 2003
Last Changed Date:June 23, 2005
First Received Date:May 19, 2000

Study Outcomes

There are no available Study Outcomes

Study Interventions

Intervention Type:Drug
Name:interferon alpha

Study Arms

There are no available Study Arms

Study Agencies

Agency Class:NIH
Agency Type:Lead Sponsor
Agency Name:National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)

Sample and Retention Information

There are no available Sample and Retention Information

Study References

There are no available Study References

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: July 27, 2021

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