A leading diabetes expert has called for more nationwide trials to find a cure for the disease.

Adrian Bone from the University of Brighton recently chaired a discussion on using stem cell technology to help diabetics restart their own insulin production.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and damages beta cells in the pancreas and stops insulin being produced.

Researchers believe stem cell technology could lead to the possibility of growing new beta cells to do the job.

‘Distressing’ Professor Bone said the group of leading UK and European Type 1 diabetes researchers had discovered barriers to clinical trials that should be broken down to alleviate the “distressing and debilitating” condition.

His call echoes the findings of the charity JDRF, which claims people with Type 1 diabetes are being denied the opportunity to join trials.

JDRF chief executive Karen Addington said: “Until just nine decades ago when insulin was discovered, every single person who developed Type 1 diabetes died in a number of weeks or months.

“It is time now to push on towards finding the cure. But this lack of clinical trial opportunities for those living with Type 1 diabetes is a huge obstacle on the path to curing this condition.

“The Government must work with researchers, funders and patient groups to implement the recommendations that will allowtheNHS tomeet theambition of putting research and innovation at its heart.”