Home Type 1 A new test on sale in the UK predicts who is at risk of developing diabetes

A new test on sale in the UK predicts who is at risk of developing diabetes

by Nilima Marshall
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A £69 home test that predicts who is at risk of developing type 1 diabetes is now on sale across the UK.

Consumers will be able to pre-order finger stick test kits online from March 7 on the diagnostic company Randox’s website.

It is also available in selected John Lewis stores and Randox Health Clinics for £89.

The test, based on research by scientists at the University of Exeter, can identify up to 10 genetic variants associated with risk of type 1 diabetes.

Researchers said patients found to be at high risk may be prioritized for further testing.

Around 344,000 people in the UK are thought to have type 1 diabetes, and many others remain undiagnosed as symptoms can take months or years to appear. be.

A biochip has been developed to help identify people at risk of type 1 diabetes (University of Exeter/Randox)

This is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

There are certain genes that are thought to be associated with the risk of type 1 diabetes, but just having these genes is not enough to develop the condition.

Researchers said people who score high on this test may seek further autoantibody testing for a definitive diagnosis.

Blood samples obtained from the home test are sent back to Randox’s laboratory for testing, where the company uses a biochip developed with the help of scientists at the University of Exeter to treat type 1 diabetes. Genetic mutations associated with risk can be identified.

department store john lewis

(PA wire)

An algorithm is then used to calculate a genetic risk score, potentially identifying people at high risk of developing the disease.

The scientists said identifying high-risk individuals could also help in pre-diagnosis treatment of type 1 diabetes with certain drugs such as teplizumab. Teplizumab is not yet approved in the UK, but has been given the green light in the US. .

Professor Richard Oram, a diabetes clinician at the University of Exeter, said: “The world is waking up to the value of screening programs for type 1 diabetes, thanks to new drugs that need to be given at an early stage of the disease.”

He added: “Randox’s biochip will help improve lives by speeding decisions about who should be further monitored and tested, making public health testing more cost-effective, and increasing access to treatment. It could be helpful,” he added.

Dr Lucy Chambers, Head of Research and Communications at Diabetes UK, said: “We are delighted that research supported by Diabetes UK will help us develop innovative new tools to find people at high risk of type 1 diabetes.

“New treatments to prevent or delay type 1 are on the horizon, and their success depends on establishing effective screening methods to accurately identify patients at high risk.

“We continue to fund research into type 1 screening and are pleased to see new innovations that have the potential to improve lives.”

Randox’s Dr Peter Fitzgerald said: “This test is a game-changer in the diagnosis and treatment of type 1 diabetes and we are introducing this test to support public and private healthcare providers around the world. I’m looking forward to it.”

The researchers also said they were working towards NHS approval for a test to classify which type of diabetes a person has.

They also received funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to assess how type 1 diabetes genetic risk score tests could be used to carry out population screening that the NHS could provide. It added that it was working with partners.

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