Jul 23, 2009 | 4
On Thursday the New Zealand-based Living Cell Technologies began giving type 1 diabetes patients a pig cell treatment, which promises to suppress disease symptoms.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), roughly 18 million people suffer from the disease, which is characterized by an inability of the body to produce insulin. This failure stems from destruction of islet cells—cells that reside in the pancreas and produce insulin—by a misdirected immune attack.
The company is harvesting islet cells from neo-natal pigs, encapsulating them in an algae-derived gum that protects the pig cells from being rejected by the person’s immune system. Studies on 10 subjects are currently underway in Russia, and now eight patients will be given the product, called Diabecell, in the New Zealand studies.
Nov 17, 2008 | 30
A new study shows that the cancer drugs imatinib (also known as Gleevec by Novartis) and sunitinib (Sutent, made by Pfizer) halt diabetes in mice.
A team from the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley-based drug maker Plexxikon found that most of the mice manipulated to have Type 1 diabetes no longer had diabetes symptoms after just a few weeks on either of the two drugs. The researchers, who published their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also discovered that daily imitanib treatment delayed when the mice got the disease, if at all. Type 1 diabetes, which usually appears during childhood, is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the pancreas and limits its ability to manufacture insulin, a hormone that helps cells absorb glucose to use as fuel.
Nov 5, 2008 | 2
An experimental drug that works much like an ingredient in red wine and grapes kept rodents from getting fat and increased their endurance. Researchers say the drug, SIRT1720, also lowered glucose levels — good news for a human version of the medicine being developed to treat diabetes.
The findings, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, show that mice fed a high-fat diet for 10 weeks who were given 100-milligram or 500-milligram doses of the med stayed svelte; animals on the same diet that didn't receive the drug packed on the pounds. The 10 medicated mice also ran twice as long as normal rodents.
Nov 3, 2008 | 1
For patients with type 1 diabetes, the delicate art of maintaining the right blood sugar level can be a cumbersome, full-time job. But an iPod-sized, artificial pancreas worn outside the body may make their lives a whole lot more convenient.
A consortium of scientists around the country and in England are working on software that would allow two existing pieces of medical hardware – a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump – to work together, allowing the patient to continuously have the right amount of insulin in his blood without having to punch in the dosage himself, USA Today is reporting.
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