Classen Immunotherapies, Inc.

6517 Montrose Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21212 U.S.A.

Tel: (410) 377-4549

Fax: (410) 377-8526



J. Barthelow Classen, M.D., M.B.A.


Vaccines Alter Diabetes Risk!


Baltimore, May 24th, 1996: Classen Immunotherapies announces the publishing of its data in the May 24th issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal linking a large epidemic of insulin dependent diabetes (IDDM) in New Zealand to an hepatitis B immunization campaign begun in 1988. The incidence of IDDM rose 60% in the years following the immunization program (1989-1991) and maintained an average incidence of 18.2 cases/100,000/year (range 16.4-21.7) compared to an average incidence of 11.2 cases/100,000/ year (range 7.6-13.2; P=0.001) in the years prior to the immunization program (1982-1987) .

Researchers at Classen Immunotherapies had previously discovered that the administration at 8 weeks of a routine pediatric vaccine, the pertussis vaccine, could induce insulin dependent diabetes in susceptible rodents. Based on this finding epidemiology studies were undertaken to determine if vaccination starting around 8 weeks of life induces IDDM in humans. Classen Immunotherapies has previously released data that epidemics of IDDM occurred after the widespread use of the Hemophilus influenza B vaccine in both Finland and Pittsburgh.

By contrast, immunization starting at birth has been shown to decrease the risk of developing IDDM. Researchers at Classen Immunotherapies and the University of Utah published data in the April issue of Diabetologia (Journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) indicating that immunization at birth with a single dose of BCG vaccine, used in Europe to prevent tuberculosis, is associated with the prevention of up to 50 cases of diabetes/100,000 children immunized. This is the equivalent of both preventing 20,000 cases of IDDM in the US over 10 years and decreasing IDDM by 25% in many industrialized nations by the age of 15.

The US Public Health Service has held 3 private meetings to discuss the impact of Classen Immunotherapies' data. At a meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee held on May 6th and 7th, an representative of the US Public Health Service said that the US government was investigating the affect of the pertussis vaccine on IDDM in Sweden. Acceptance of Classen Immunotherapies' data will have broad implications on immunization practices. An US citizen's life time risk of developing IDDM may reach 1:100 while the total cost to the US of this disease may reach $30 billion annually.