Tzield/Teplizumab: First-in-Class for Prevention

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, there has been no known way to delay the onset of type 1 diabetes in the past—until now. Recently, a new drug called teplizumab was approved and found to be effective at delaying the onset of type 1 diabetes in Stage 2 type 1 diabetes by 25 months on average. Let’s take a look at how this breakthrough happened and what it means for those living with type 1 diabetes.

The Study Behind Tzield

In 2019, researchers published a study involving children who were considered high risk for developing type 1 diabetes due to the presence of autoantibodies. These autoantibodies are proteins produced by the immune system that target healthy cells in the body, which can lead to type 1 diabetes. The study involved administering teplizumab to these children over a 72-week period. The results showed that receiving treatment with teplizumab delayed the onset of type 1 diabetes by an average of two years, but up to 11 years for one patient.

What Tzield Does

Tzield is an antibody drug designed to target and deactivate certain cells in the immune system that are responsible for attacking healthy cells. It works by stopping these immune cells from attacking the pancreas while also preventing further damage caused by inflammation. This drug is approved for use as a preventative measure against type 1 diabetes in high-risk populations with Stage 2 type 1 diabetes.

Implications of Tzield

This study marks a major milestone towards ultimately preventing and potentially curing type 1 diabetes. While there is still plenty of room for improvement, this breakthrough therapy reduces the risk of developing this chronic illness. In addition, this could mean fewer hospital visits, lower medical costs, improved quality of life for patients and their families, and more time spent living life without worrying about managing symptoms or complications from their condition.


The potential implications of this approval is huge; not only does it offer hope to those at risk for developing type 1 diabetes but it may also open doors to other treatments and therapies that can help prevent or even cure other autoimmune diseases as well as other chronic illnesses. Teplizumab has shown great promise so far and hopefully more studies and approved therapies will continue to build on its success so that one day we can have a number of preventative therapies when it comes to treating autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes. Until then, we can all take comfort knowing that science has made a major step forward towards finding better ways to protect our bodies from illness and disease.