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Possible Cure For Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Cured In Mice

Type 1 Cured In Mice

Ralph DeFronzo and his researchers at UT Health at San Antonio announced that they have cured type 1 diabetes. Researchers think they have found a way to trick the body into curing type 1 diabetes that may also have a great impact possibly for type 2 diabetes. Even though it was only in mice, this could be very positive, even with years of testing still remaining. Doctor Ralph DeFronzo, chief of the diabetes research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, says that this way of doing a gene transfer can wake up cells in the pancreas to produce insulin. The immune system of a person with diabetes kills off useful “beta” cells, but the researchers say they have found a way to make other cells in the pancreas perform the necessary work. Their approach, announced earlier this month in the academic journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, not only would have implications for type 1, but also could help treat the far more common type 2 diabetes. The researchers have cured mice, which are genetically similar to people but different enough that new rounds of animal testing are needed before human trials can begin. This approach is sure to attract skeptics, in part because it is a significant departure from the many other attempts at curing diabetes, which typically involve transplanting new cells and/or suppressing the immune system’s attempts to kill off useful ones. By contrast, “we’re taking a cell that is already present in the body and programming it to secrete insulin, without changing it otherwise,” said DeFronzo. Diabetes is a disease characterized by a person’s inability to process carbohydrates, a condition that if untreated can lead to often-catastrophic health consequences. The core problem is insulin. Most people naturally secrete that su Continue reading >>

Targeting A Cure For Type 1 Diabetes

Targeting A Cure For Type 1 Diabetes

How Long Will We Have To Wait? about the book Every person touched by diabetes wants to know when there will be a cure. A lot of work is going on, but what are the chances of a breakthrough? Targeting a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes is diaTribe's comprehensive overview of where we are and where we're headed in that search. Rich in detail and written for patients and their families, the report features the latest information on the most promising approaches for curing diabetes. These include immune therapeutics, islet and pancreas transplantation, beta cell regeneration and survival agents, and the artificial pancreas. With an introduction by Dr. Aaron Kowalski of the JDRF, and with concluding remarks by our Editor in Chief, Kelly Close, Targeting a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes is essential reading for anyone who wants to know more about what a cure might look like or when it will be available. Although a cure may not be right around the corner, this book lays bare the possibilities of all the exciting research now underway. To buy a copy of Targeting a Cure, visit the ADA's store. critical acclaim "Targeting a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes will give you hope that someday struggling with the management of type 1 diabetes will only be a memory."- Richard M. Bergenstal, MD (Executive Director, International Diabetes Center, Minneapolis, MN) “After reading about Kelly Close and her teams’ incredible journey of discovery, we cannot only continue to dream, but we can open our eyes each morning to a reality that brings us closer, inch by inch, discovery by discovery, to a day when glucose control will be automatic and people with type 1 diabetes will be ‘cured.’”- Francine R. Kaufman, MD (Chief Medical Officer and Vice President, Global Medical, Clinical & Health Affairs, Medtroni Continue reading >>

Who Will Profit From The Cure For Type 1 Diabetes?

Who Will Profit From The Cure For Type 1 Diabetes?

Who will profit from the cure for Type 1 diabetes? Authors note:Opinions expressed in this editorial piece are my own. This is written and shared as a member of the Type 1 diabetes community, not in any official capacity related to my position at Beyond Type 1. Read the newsannouncement on this partnership here . Today, Eli Lilly and Company announced a large investment in a small cell-encapsulation research company called Sigilon Therapeutics. Today, I realized something Id never before considered: the same company profiting from the insulin people with Type 1 diabetes must take to stay alive may be the gatekeeper of a one-day cure. I received the press release announcement in my email inbox. As the Communications Manager at Beyond Type 1, I often help cover industry news announcements. Sometimes thats straightforward. This week it wasnt. Ive lived with Type 1 diabetes for 16 years I just celebrated my diaversary this weekend. My dad has Type 1. My maternal grandfather also has Type 1. I have taken insulin via injection or infusion now for 5,842 days. Averaging about 60 units a day, thats about $100,000 worth of insulin (at the current list price) just to make it to 24 years old. Because Ive enjoyed the privilege of health insurance, the bulk of this money hasnt typically come directly out of my familys pockets. But for millions of uninsured or underinsured Americans, it does. Lilly, one of the big 3 insulin manufacturers alongside Sanofi and Novo Nordisk, has increased the list price of insulin over 1,123% since 1996. Last year, the list price for Lillys popular fast-acting insulin Humalog was raised to $275.58 per bottle up another 7.8%. To add insult to injury, these increases have occurred in lock-step between the three companies prompting multiple class action la Continue reading >>

9 Diabetes Breakthroughs You Need To Know About

9 Diabetes Breakthroughs You Need To Know About

Diabetes is not just one condition - but whether your body is struggling with blood sugar levels due to type 1, or type 2, or even only during pregnancy, it's a serious condition that requires daily care and still doesn't have a cure. But scientists have been working hard to find cures, new treatments, and better management techniques for the millions of people worldwide dealing with diabetes. Here are some of the latest developments you need to know about. 1. Brand new beta cells. Type 1 diabetes develops when a person's immune system wipes out insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. But it turns out that another type of immature beta cell has been hiding in our pancreases all along, and scientists think it might be possible to use these 'virgin beta cells' to restore the functionality of the pancreas. 2. A preventative vaccine. Finnish researchers are about to embark on the first-ever clinical trial for a type 1 diabetes prevention vaccine. While it's not a cure for those who already have the condition, a successful vaccine could potentially prevent thousands of cases each year, as the vaccine targets a virus linked with the development of an autoimmune reaction in the pancreas. 3. A unique transplant. One woman with severe type 1 diabetes has spent a year without insulin injections thanks to an experimental transplant. Doctors implanted insulin-producing cells into a fatty membrane in the stomach cavity, and the success of the operation is paving the way towards more people receiving artificial pancreases. 4. New pancreas tissue. Earlier this year scientists announced that they reversed type 1 diabetes in mice by giving them a transplant of pancreatic tissue. The tissue was grown using stem cells from non-diabetic mice, and the success of this method suggests i Continue reading >>

Has A British Man Really Been Cured Of Type 1 Diabetes?

Has A British Man Really Been Cured Of Type 1 Diabetes?

I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 25 years now. The relentlessness of type 1, and the fact that I will probably live with this non-preventable condition for the rest of my life never goes away, but I have almost made peace with it. A few days ago, I saw something that gave me pause. “British man with type 1 diabetes to receive tests after coming off insulin,” read Diabetes.co.uk’s headline. The article goes onto say that, “Daniel Darkes, from Daventy in Northamptonshire, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes seven years ago. But his recent tests have baffled doctors as his pancreas has shown signs of working properly again.” My first thoughts upon reading this were, “this can’t be true,” and “what’s the real explanation here?” There are many types of diabetes including type 2, LADA, and monogenic. Maybe he actually had one of those types instead of type 1. Usually, tests can determine this quickly though, so why was it not the case with Dan? I live in the UK and I wanted to get to the bottom of things. I managed to get in touch with ‘Miracle Dan’, as he’s been called by his friends. Although he is saving the specific details of his recent test results from the U.S. for an upcoming exclusive interview with another media outlet, he spoke to me and answered some of my questions about everything that has been happening. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your diabetes. When were you diagnosed? I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in February 2011 at the age of 23, after just leaving the army. I started a new engineering job and within two weeks of starting, I noticed the traditional symptoms of type 1 diabetes: thirst, weight loss, blurry vision, and a lot of vomiting. I collapsed and was taken by ambulance to hospital where I wa Continue reading >>

Looking To Cure Type 1 Diabetes, Investors Front $114m To Launch A Pioneering Human Study At Semma

Looking To Cure Type 1 Diabetes, Investors Front $114m To Launch A Pioneering Human Study At Semma

Three years ago, Harvard’s Doug Melton published a landmark study outlining how he had successfully used stem cells to create insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells that were inserted in bulk into mice and successfully protected from an immune response — a breakthrough in regenerative medicine that bore real promise to provide a curative approach for Type 1 diabetes that could conceivably end a lifetime of insulin shots. It was the culmination of 23 years of lab work, launched when his son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. And that achievement marked the beginning of something new in biotech. That same year Semma Therapeutics would be launched — with a $44 million A round landing in 2015 — in pursuit of a mission to complete one of the most ambitious preclinical programs in the regenerative med field. And after working on all the nitty gritty research needed to see if this tech could be scaled up to human size, an expanded syndicate of venture investors have put together a whopping $114 million round with plans to take this into humans for a first-of-its-kind proof-of-concept study. One of the big challenges Semma faced in scaling up, Melton tells me, was to create a membrane specifically designed with pores that were large enough for molecules to pass through but too small for immune cells to penetrate. Using some calculations from the lab, Melton and his colleagues estimated that they would need some 150 million cells — possibly ranging up to three times that amount — in order to provide the natural insulin needed to eliminate the shots. Melton compares the membrane to a tea bag, but one that couldn’t be overloaded. The replacement cells, he said, “will only secrete the right amount depending on the level of sugar in the blood.” The big round mark Continue reading >>

Cure Research

Cure Research

Our cure research will give people with type 1 diabetes the ability to make their own insulin again. A cure for type 1 diabetes must do two things: stop the immune system destroying the cells that make insulin, and replace the cells that have been lost. Beta cells are the highly specialised cells that make insulin. They are found in clumps of around 100 cells in the pancreas. These clumps are called the islets of Langerhans – or islets for short. A large part of the cure research we fund is about understanding beta cells and islets: how they grow, how they stay healthy and how we can give new ones to people with type 1. Giving people insulin-producing cells that are protected from immune attack Giving new cells to people with type 1 is something we can already do. You can read about islet and pancreas transplantation here. So why are we still researching it? Unfortunately there are problems with the process. Transplants require people to take drugs for the rest of their lives to stop their bodies from rejecting the new cells. These drugs are in themselves risky, and even with them, people are not insulin free forever. This means that for most people with type 1, the risks of a transplant vastly outweigh the benefits. Another problem is that there are not enough organ donors to meet the needs of the people who currently need a pancreas or islet transplant. So our cure research is helping to develop new sources of cells that could be used for transplantation – and to develop new ways of protecting the new cells from rejection, and autoimmune destruction. We call this ‘encapsulation’. Encapsulation means putting the precious beta cells in a protective coating before putting them into the body. Find out more about our encapsulation research. Getting the body to grow Continue reading >>

City Of Hope Aims To Cure Type 1 Diabetes In Six Years

City Of Hope Aims To Cure Type 1 Diabetes In Six Years

It’s an extraordinary goal powered by an extraordinary gift. City of Hope’s Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute is committed to developing a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) within six years, fueled by a $50 million funding program led by the Wanek family. It seems an audacious goal for a comprehensive cancer center, but City of Hope has a long history of groundbreaking work in diabetes. Research conducted by City of Hope led to the development of synthetic human insulin, which is still used today by many of the estimated 1.5 million Americans with T1D and 27 million with type 2 diabetes (T2D). “City of Hope is best positioned to take on this challenge,” said Robert W. Stone, president and chief executive officer of City of Hope. “This is thanks to our 40-year institutional legacy of pioneering treatment and research advances in diabetes.” The funding for the transformative research needed to embark on such an endeavor is led by a gift from the Wanek family, which owns Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest home furniture manufacturer. “City of Hope scientists’ research has revolutionized the understanding and treatment of diabetes,” said Todd Wanek, chief executive officer of Ashley Furniture, speaking on behalf of his family. “It continues today as physicians and scientists gain systemic understanding of diabetes as a complex, multifaceted disease.” Through the generosity of the family and gifts from an anonymous donor, City of Hope will be able to devote more than $50 million over the next six years to an unprecedented research effort: The Wanek Family Project for Type 1 Diabetes at City of Hope. A Multifaceted Approach The Wanek Family Project will result in the creation of a series of highly focused programs at City of Hope. The Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes: Could Modified Blood Stem Cells Lead To A Cure?

Type 1 Diabetes: Could Modified Blood Stem Cells Lead To A Cure?

Increasing levels of a certain protein in blood stem cells so that the immune system stops attacking insulin cells in the pancreas could be a way to halt type 1 diabetes, according to a new study reported in Science Translational Medicine. Researchers led by those at Harvard Medical School's Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts found that they could reverse hyperglycemia in diabetic mice by modifying their defective blood stem cells to increase production of a protein called PD-L1. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. Without sufficient insulin, the body cannot convert blood sugar, or glucose, into energy for cells, with the result that it builds up in the bloodstream. Over time, high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, leads to serious complications such as vision problems and damage to blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. Immune system attacks beta cells Around 5 percent of the 23.1 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the United States have type 1 diabetes. The body produces insulin in the pancreas, which is an organ that sits just behind the stomach. It contains insulin-producing beta cells that normally sense glucose levels in the blood and release just the right amount of insulin to keep sugar levels normal. In type 1 diabetes, a fault in the immune system makes inflammatory T cells — which usually react to "foreign" material — attack beta cells in the pancreas. Nobody knows exactly how this comes about, but scientists suspect that a virus, or some other trigger in the environment, sets it off in people with certain inherited genes. The "holy grail" of scientists seeking a cure for type 1 diabetes is to find a way to prevent or stop the immune attack on the beta cells. Several approaches have been tried, including "cytostatic Continue reading >>

Scientists May Have Found A Functional Cure For Type-1 Diabetes

Scientists May Have Found A Functional Cure For Type-1 Diabetes

Type-1 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects an estimated 42 million people worldwide, and occurs when the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Those with the condition must take supplemental insulin so their bodies can process sugars. But now, researchers at ViaCyte, a regenerative medicine company, have some good news: They're working on a therapy based on stem cells that can automatically release insulin into the body when it's needed. The treatment is specifically aimed at patients with high-risk type-1 diabetes. ViaCyte estimates that around 140,000 people in the US and Canada suffer from the condition, which can cause life-threatening events. The use of stem cells to replace pancreatic insulin cells has been tried before, but without much success. ViaCyte's approach shows promise because the stem cells can mature within the body itself through an implant the company calls PEC-Direct. There has already been a round of clinical trials to test whether the stem cells could fully grow into the type of cells necessary to produce insulin -- called islet cells. That was a success. But the number of cells within the implants wasn't enough to actually treat the patients; it was solely to test whether the cells could, in fact, be grown. Now, in coordination with JDRF, an organization that funds type-1 diabetes research, ViaCyte has implanted PEC-Directs into two patients as a trial. It's important to note that this isn't a full cure. It's what ViaCyte President and CEO Paul Laikind calls "a functional cure." It doesn't address and treat the specific causes of the condition. Additionally, patients using this treatment would be required to take immunosuppressive drugs to protect the created cells from the body's immune system, according to New Scientist. Regardless, Continue reading >>

Diabetes Cure

Diabetes Cure

Tweet Cures for both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes have not yet been discovered, but progress is being made to prospectively cure type 1 diabetes in this generation. As studies continue, the root causes and mechanism behind both forms of the disease are becoming more clearly understood all the time. People with type 2 diabetes can go into remission, but while a cure is still elusive for type 1 diabetes, research from major angles is contributing towards a potential cure. Type 1 diabetes cure Researchers are beginning to get excited again that a cure or near-cure treatment could come as early as within the next decade or two. A diabetes vaccine diabetes vaccine is consistently being investigated to provide a true biological cure for type 1 diabetes. The aim is for a vaccine to be created that stops the immune system from attacking the body's insulin-producing beta cells. Another cure prospect gaining momentum is islet cell encapsulation, with stem cells used to create insulin-producing cells that can work without immune system interference. Type 1 diabetes vaccine Research into a diabetes vaccine is being made on several fronts, with Selecta Bioscience, a clinical bioscience company, developing a Synthetic Vaccine Particle (SVP) as an immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes. The vaccine is expected to reprogram the immune system to prevent inflammatory responses to insulin cells, with Selecta currently trialling SVP on mice courtesy of funding from JRDF, a leading global organisation funding type 1 diabetes research. Elsewhere, the Faustman Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital is currently leading a human clinical trial program to test the efficiency of their Bacillus-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. Positive results have already been reported from their Phase I study. An Continue reading >>

Dr Bart Roep: The Man Who Wants To Cure Type 1 Diabetes Within Six Years

Dr Bart Roep: The Man Who Wants To Cure Type 1 Diabetes Within Six Years

'The C-word is controversial within diabetes circles, yet the City of Hope had no reticence about making the claim.' - Jack Woodfield. Dr Bart Roep is the director of the diabetes research facilityat the City of Hope's Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute. Born in the Netherlands, he leads a team whose mission is to cure type 1 diabetes, and while their ambitions are lofty, so is their early success. In March, Dr Roep's team published the results of a 14-year-boy with type 1 diabetes who underwent stem cell transplantation. The boy has since been free from insulin without any side effects for eight years. This, Dr Roep said, was the first definitive proof that type 1 diabetes can be cured. But there are still several critical questions to be answered. Dr Roep acknowledges that cure is "a dangerous word to use" in regard to type 1 diabetes research. "What we are trying to do is understand why people get type 1 diabetes and to translate this to find a cure," Roep said. "That is, of course, a dangerous word to use. But we think that we are onto a couple of leads." One of these leads is islet cell transplantation, a procedure that involves transplanting islet (insulin-producing) cells into patients from donor pancreases. In some cases, the transplants can help a patient come off insulin, but other times the cells are rejected or attacked by the immune system unless immunosuppressant drugs are also given, which can cause side effects. Dr Roep's team made a significant discovery along the way: by reading the immune signatures of patients they were able to predict how successful transplantation would be. Dr Roep says this is the first step towards personalising medicine in type 1 diabetes. "It turns out we can predict before surgery who has a fantastic chance of lasting Continue reading >>

Clinical Trials Of Stem Cell-based

Clinical Trials Of Stem Cell-based "functional Cure" For Type 1 Diabetes Underway

2 pictures A human clinical trial examining the safety and efficacy of a "functional cure" for type 1 diabetes is currently underway. Trials of the novel islet cell replacement therapy developed by ViaCyte involve a device containing stem cells being implanted into a patient with type 1 diabetes. It's hoped these cells will then mature into human islet tissue with insulin-producing beta cells that produce insulin on demand. So far, 2017 is proving to be an exciting year for breakthroughs in diabetes research, particularly in regards to treatments for type 1 diabetes. We have seen two very promising developments based in gene therapy, while a human trial for a type 1 diabetes vaccine is currently underway in Finland targeting a viral group known to trigger the disease. The new treatment developed by ViaCyte is being described as a "functional cure" in that it could replace the missing insulin cells in a diabetic patient, as opposed to a more direct "cure" which would address the autoimmune roots of the disease. The treatment being trialed piggybacks off prior working knowledge of islet cell transplantation being successful in patients with type 1 diabetes. For some time, patients with the disease have been treated with pancreatic cells from organ donors, successfully liberating them from insulin injections. "Islet transplants have been used to successfully treat patients with unstable, high-risk type 1 diabetes, but the procedure has limitations, including a very limited supply of donor organs and challenges in obtaining reliable and consistent islet preparations," says trial investigator James Shapiro. "An effective stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy would solve these issues and has the potential to help a greater number of people." The new treatment involves a Continue reading >>

Rare Tumor Could Help Produce Insulin For Type-1 Diabetics, Studyshows

Rare Tumor Could Help Produce Insulin For Type-1 Diabetics, Studyshows

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Researchers have a found a surprising potential ally in the search for a cure for Type-1 diabetes. Its a rare tumor that produces a lot of what diabetics are missing insulin. Type-1 diabetics have two problems. Their own immune system destroys the beta-cells that make insulin. To cure diabetes, you have to stop that autoimmune attack and then replace the destroyed beta-cells. CBS2s Dr. Max Gomez first met diabetic Alecia Wesner shortly after she was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes at age 6. Her continuous glucose monitor and a small insulin pump have made managing her blood sugar easier, but not easy. Theres no break from Type-1 diabetes, theres no vacation, she said. Trying to manage all of this with a lot of things that beep to wake me up if something has gone too high or two low is a tremendous amount of work. What gives Alecia a lot of hope for the future is whats being done in the lab of Dr. Andrew Stewart at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He explains that even though Alecia has had diabetes for almost four decades, she still has a few beta-cells left. The key to getting them to replicate Alecias destroyed beta-cells, says Dr. Stewart, may lie in the DNA of rare benign tumors called beta-cell insulinomas. Those small insulinoma tumors in the pancreas have the genomic recipe, if you will, Dr. Stewart said. They now have the genomic wiring diagram or roadmap for knowing how to make beta-cells replicate. By sequencing every gene in these tumors, Dr. Stewart found the ones that put the brakes on beta-cell regeneration. As it turns out, certain drugs can take the brakes off the genes in normal beta-cells so they can start to divide. We found lots of candidates and were in the process now of screening drugs that take off these other br Continue reading >>

Researchers May Have Found A Way To Reverse Type 1 Diabetes

Researchers May Have Found A Way To Reverse Type 1 Diabetes

Image Point Fr/Shutterstock A diagnosis of type 1 diabetes means a lifetime of constant diligence. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 usually develops early in life. Those diagnosed have to check blood sugar several times a day and take insulin as needed; the process is difficult, expensive, and potentially dangerous. That helps explain the excitement about a potential cure for type 1 diabetes using an already approved treatment. Doctors diagnose more than 18,000 children and teens with type 1 diabetes every year, according to the CDC. These kids lack the ability to make enough insulin, the hormone that processes blood sugar. Using insulin injections to control blood sugar with insulin is tricky because diet, exercise, and stress can quickly alter levels. Without enough insulin, kidney, heart, and nerve damage can be the result. Get too much, and blood sugar levels will plummet dangerously low. (This is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.) Researchers in Israel have tried treating type 1 diabetics with an immune system protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin (alpha-1)—it helps target germs. Normally, insulin gets lower and lower over time in diabetics, but extra alpha-1 seems to help the body produce more. Researchers gave 12 recently diagnosed type 1 diabetics an alpha-1 drip once a week for eight weeks in a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. For a year and counting following treatment, two of the participants have been making more of their own insulin. Another three saw only minor decreases—which is a good sign. “Compared to the natural course of the disease, which is downhill, even a flat line is considered success,” says study co-author Eli C. Lewis, PhD, biochemical and pharmacology professor at Ben-Gurion University of the N Continue reading >>

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