Repeat BCG Vaccinations for the Treatment of New Onset Type 1 Diabetes in Children Age 8-<18 Years


The purpose of this study is to investigate if repeat bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccinations can confer a beneficial immune and metabolic effect in new onset pediatric Type 1 diabetes.


  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Diabetes type1
  • Autoimmune Diabetes


Eligible Ages
Between 8 Years and 17 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • Male or female, Age 8 - <18 years at the time of study entry and <18 at the time of randomization. - Type 1 diabetic subjects diagnosed more than 3 months ago and less than 12 months ago. - Previously diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus (based on clinical judgement and supported by laboratory analysis as per local guidelines) prior to study enrollment by WHO/ADA diagnostic criteria for glucose levels (FPG = 7.0 mmol/L [126 mg/dL]) or plasma glucose levels 2-hours after 75-gm oral glucose load of = 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL) or a casual plasma glucose >200 mg/dL with symptoms. - Presence of one or more of the following: antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), islet cell autoantibody (ICA), protein tyrosine phosphatase-like protein antibodies (IA-2), Insulin autoantibodies (IAA), zinc transporter 8 antibodies (ZnT8). - Ongoing daily treatment with insulin prior to the screening visit. - HIV antibody negative, M. tuberculosis (TB) negative (QuantiFERON-TB test negative), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) negative. - Normal CBC and chemistries and only Grade 1 creatinine elevations. - Informed consent and child assent, as age-appropriate, obtained before any trial-related activities. Trial-related activities are any procedures that are carried out as part of the trial, including activities to determine suitability for the trial. Legally Acceptable Representative (LAR) of the Subject must sign and date the Informed Consent Form (according to local requirements). The child must sign and date the Child Assent Form or provide oral assent, if required according to local requirements. - Ability and willingness to adhere to the protocol, including performing self-measured plasma glucose profiles (Subject and LAR(s) should be evaluated as a unit).

Exclusion Criteria

  • History of tuberculosis, positive interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA, also known as the QuantiFERON-TB test), including a test with a high reactivity to mycobacteria of non-tuberculosis variety. - History of prior BCG vaccination, positive T-spot tuberculosis test or a T-spot test showing significant Mycobacteria exposure. - Not born in the US or born in a country with mandatory BCG vaccinations. - Previous participation in the treatment group in biologic or drug intervention trials for Type 1 diabetes such as anti-CD3. - Simultaneous participation in any other clinical trial while enrolled in this clinical trial or participation in another clinical trial within 28 days before the screening visit Note: Clinical trials do not include non-interventional studies. - Current participation in the Phase I or II BCG clinical trial or other immunotherapy diabetes clinical trials. - Current treatment with aspirin > 160 mg/day or chronic, daily NSAIDs. - Current treatment with chronic antibiotics that interfere with BCG viability. - Current treatment with glucocorticoids (other than intermittent nasal or eye steroids, asthma inhaler, or topical steroids), or disease or condition likely to require high dose steroid or immunosuppressive therapy. This does not include replacement therapies for conditions such as growth hormone deficiencies, Addison's disease, or hypothyroidism. - Anticipated initiation or change in concomitant medication in excess of 14 days known to affect glucose metabolism (e.g. thyroid hormones, corticosteroids). - Currently on or planning to be taking any oral type 2 diabetes drug or other oral blood sugar lowering medication. - Treatment with any medication for the indication of diabetes other than stated in the inclusion criteria in a period of 90 days before screening. - History of keloid formation - History of lupus - Monogenetic diabetes - Diabetes secondary to cystic fibrosis. - History of type 2 diabetes or severe obesity. - Known hypoglycemic unawareness or recurrent severe hypoglycemic episodes as judged by the Investigator. - More than one episode of diabetic ketoacidosis requiring hospitalization within the last 90 days prior to the screening. - History of recurrent ketoacidosis with hospitalizations due to non-compliance. - History of active proliferative diabetic retinopathy. - History or evidence of chronic kidney disease (serum creatinine > 1.5mg/dL), significant protein in the urine, or other significant and/or active diabetes related complication. - History of significant neuropathy, myocardial infarcts, active psychiatric disease that might preclude travel and long-term participation, dementia, foot ulcers, severe diabetes non-compliance, amputations, or kidney disease. - Diagnosis of malignant neoplasms within the last five years prior to the screening visit. - History of medical condition(s) that may impact red blood cell turnover such as polycythemia, chronic anemia, vitamin E infusion, transfusion, sickle cell or thalassemia, vitamin C injections, lead poisoning, uremia, or asplenia. - Other chronic conditions, diseases and/or treatments associated with increased risk of serious side effects or morbidities. Such conditions that increase the risk of infections with immunosuppressive therapies for other autoimmune diseases, patients with a previous history of severe burns, or treatment with immunosuppressive medications of any type (e.g., imuran, methotrexate, cyclosporine, etanercept, infliximab) for any reason. - History of chronic infectious disease, such as HIV or untreated or active hepatitis. - Living with someone who is immunosuppressed and/or at high risk for infectious diseases (for example, HIV+ or taking immunosuppressive medications for any reason) as judged by the investigator. - Known or suspected hypersensitivity to trial products or related products. - Female who is pregnant, breast-feeding or intends to become pregnant or is of child-bearing potential and not using adequate contraceptive methods (adequate contraceptive measures as required by local regulation or practice). - Any condition, which, in the opinion of the Investigator, might jeopardize the Subject's safety or compliance with the protocol. - Diabetes lacking at least 1 diabetes-specific autoantibody. - Age of diabetes onset <1 - Current BMI of <5th percentile or >95th percentile - Blood pressure >90th percentile for their age and sex - Temperature >98.6 F - Heart rate outside of 50-120 bpm

Study Design

Phase 2
Study Type
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
Triple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Bacillus Calmette-Guérin
2 BCG vaccinations spaced 4 weeks apart at the beginning of the trial
  • Biological: Bacillus Calmette-Guérin
    2 BCG vaccinations spaced 4 weeks apart at the beginning of the trial
    Other names:
    • BCG
Placebo Comparator
Saline Injection
2 placebo injections spaced 4 weeks apart at the beginning of the trial
  • Biological: Saline Injection
    2 BCG vaccinations spaced 4 weeks apart at the beginning of the trial

Recruiting Locations

Immunobiology Labs CNY 149
Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129
Denise L Faustman, MD, PhD

More Details

Massachusetts General Hospital

Study Contact

Denise L Faustman, MD, PhD

Detailed Description

Published Phase I data on repeat BCG vaccinations in long term adult type 1 diabetics showed specific death of some of the disease causing bad white blood cells and also showed a short and small pancreas effect of restored insulin secretion. The BCG vaccine also had beneficial metabolic effects that resets the utilization of sugars and significantly improves blood sugars by stably lowering HbA1c values for up to 8 years in subjects in the treatment group and not in the placebo group. In this new onset Phase II Pediatric study, the investigators will attempt to test if even more significant effects can be seen in a new onset pediatric population. Eligible volunteers will either be vaccinated with BCG twice, one month apart or receive a placebo treatment. Both groups will be followed for five years.