A placebo-controlled trial involving more than 800 patients with type I insulin-dependent diabetes has been started by one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Md, to evaluate the use of sorbinil in the prevention of diabetic retinopathy.
The study, which admitted the first subjects in March, is being conducted by the NIH's National Eye Institute. The institute plans to follow up the patients for at least 30 months. The project cost has not been announced, but the study is being supported by Pfizer, Inc, New York City, the developer of sorbinil.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs in about 4.4 million of the estimated 10 million to 11 million persons with diabetes in the United States. Every year, about 4,700 of these patients become blind. Research studies have suggested that sorbinil may help alleviate retinopathy.
Sorbinil is an aldose-reductase inhibitor. Earlier studies on diabetic animals have shown that it can reduce