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  • Writer's pictureDr Edin Hamzić

💊 Teplizumab for Type 1 Diabetes: What You Need to Know About Tzield

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

What Is Tzield (teplizumab)?

Tzield (the generic name is teplizumab) is a monoclonal antibody drug that was developed for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes. FDA has approved Tzield for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Teplizumab targets specific proteins or antigens involved in the progression of type 1 diabetes to slow down or stop the disease.

What is a monoclonal antibody?

A monoclonal antibody is a type of antibody made by identical immune cells. These immune cells are clones of a single parent cell. Generally, monoclonal antibodies are used for both medical treatments and as research tools, as they are designed to specifically target a particular protein or molecule that is involved in a disease. Monoclonal antibodies are typically produced using recombinant DNA technology and can be manufactured in large quantities for use as drugs. They can be administered intravenously or as an injection and effectively treat various conditions, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases.

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease that occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin. Insulin is, as you probably already know, a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. Type 1 diabetes typically develops in childhood or early adulthood and is usually diagnosed in people under 30. It is not caused by lifestyle factors and cannot be prevented like type 2 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily to maintain normal blood sugar levels and manage their condition. They also need to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly, follow a healthy diet, and get regular physical activity.

For What Is Used Tzield?

As I already mentioned, Tzield (teplizumab) is designed to delay the onset of:

  • stage 3 type 1 diabetes in adults and pediatric patients eight years of age and

  • older with Stage 2 type 1 diabetes.

Stage 3 of type 1 diabetes is a stage of disease when patients have already lost most of their beta cells in the pancreas, and stage 2 of type 1 diabetes is typically presymptomatic when the condition progresses from the presymptomatic phase into a clinical onset (Stage 3).

Who Developed Tzield?

Tzield (teplizumab) was developed by Provention Bio, Inc. Provention Bio is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative therapies for autoimmune diseases and cancer. Provention Bio was founded in 2012 and is based in Princeton, New Jersey. It is dedicated to improving the lives of people with autoimmune diseases by advancing the development of new treatments that can help to slow down or stop the progression of these diseases.

package of Tzield tepolizumab
Package of Tzield (tepolizumab)

What Is the Mechanism of Action of Tzield?

Tzield binds to CD3 (a cell surface antigen present on T lymphocytes) and delays the onset of Stage 3 type 1 diabetes in adults and pediatric patients aged eight years and older with Stage 2 type 1 diabetes. You can read more about clusters of differentiation here [INSERT]. The mechanism of action for Tzield may involve partial agonistic signaling and deactivation of pancreatic beta cell autoreactive T lymphocytes. In addition, Tzield leads to an increase in the proportion of regulatory T cells and exhausted CD8+ T cells in peripheral blood.

What Are the Key Advantages of Tzield?

The potential advantages of Tzield (teplizumab) for the treatment of type 1 diabetes include the following:

  1. Targeted mechanism of action: Teplizumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets specific proteins or antigens involved in the progression of autoimmune diseases, which may help to slow down or stop the disease progression.

  2. Improved outcomes: By regulating T-cell activation, teplizumab may help to improve outcomes for patients with autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes.

What Are the Key Warnings and Precautions of Tzield?

The critical side effects of Tzield (teplizumab) are:

  1. Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS). CRS has been observed in Tzield-treated patients

  2. Bacterial and viral infections have occurred in Tzield-treated patients.

  3. In clinical trials, 78% of Tzield-treated patients developed lymphopenia compared to 11% of control-treated patients.

  4. Acute hypersensitivity reactions, including serum sickness, angioedema, urticaria, rash, vomiting, and bronchospasm, occurred in Tzield-treated patients.

For more details about warnings and precautions, please check the following documentation.

What is Cytokine Release Syndrome?

Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) occurs when the body releases a large amount of cytokines. Cytokines play a vital role in the body's immune response. Various triggers, such as infections, autoimmune diseases, or specific medical treatments, can cause CRS. Symptoms of CRS can include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, chills, headache, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, CRS can lead to life-threatening complications, such as organ failure, and requires prompt medical attention. Treatment for CRS typically involves managing symptoms and controlling the underlying cause. For example, corticosteroids and other medications may be used to reduce cytokine levels and control the immune response.

What is Lymphopenia?

Lymphopenia is a condition with a low count of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, in the blood. Lymphocytes play a vital role in the body's immune system, helping to fight infections and other diseases. There are many causes of lymphopenia, including infections, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and certain medications. Lymphopenia can also be a side effect of some medical treatments. Lymphopenia treatment depends on the underlying cause and may involve antibiotics, immunoglobulin therapy, or other medications. In some cases, the condition may resolve on its own with time.


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