NYU Langone Health exits diabetes vaccine trial

Researchers from New York City-based NYU Langone Health departed from a trial investigating a tuberculosis vaccine's potential as a pediatric Type 1 diabetes vaccine, The New York Times reported Jan. 20. 

The tuberculosis vaccine, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, is more than 100 years old and isn't widely used in the U.S., according to the CDC. Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital is leading the study and has been researching the vaccine's prospects for other uses, such as COVID-19.

NYU Langone officials told the Times the researchers were withdrawing from the phase 2 study after reviewing more information about the BCG vaccine but said the decision "will not affect the safety of enrolled participants."

Of the 150 children enrolled in the study, the NYU Langone team has administered the vaccine in at least 18 participants, according to the Times. These patients will continue to see the hospital's physicians for diabetes care, university officials said. 

The decision to leave the trial drew criticism from Massachusetts General Hospital leaders and patients alike, but the yearslong effort to study the tuberculosis vaccine for other uses has been wobbling in uncertainty. In 2018, the American Diabetes Association and JDRF, a nonprofit that funds Type 1 diabetes research, said the tentative link between BCG and a diabetes vaccine "must be interpreted with caution."

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