Key Recent Developments in Diabetes Research

January 13, 2012
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Two noteworthy developments in the study of diabetes came to light today.  The first is the progress that has been achieved in the use of stem cells to “re-educate” the T cells in Type 1 diabetes (Univ. of Illinois).  While reports on this research allude to “reversing” Type 1 diabetes, the actual research is better described (and more importantly) for illustrating that patients’ pancreatic islet beta cells can have their insulin-producing function restored via immunomodulatory steps.

Two noteworthy developments in the study of diabetes came to light today.  The first is the progress that has been achieved in the use of stem cells to “re-educate” the T cells in Type 1 diabetes (Univ. of Illinois).  While reports on this research allude to “reversing” Type 1 diabetes, the actual research is better described (and more importantly) for illustrating that patients’ pancreatic islet beta cells can have their insulin-producing function restored via immunomodulatory steps.  Thus, Type 1 diabetics may potentially regain normal glucose regulation by repair — rather than by the more complex process of cell transplant.

The second development is that researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology have proven which T cells are responsible for destroying the pancreatic cells in Type 1 diabetes.

Both of these developments are important for the fact that they center on the actual mechanisms involved in the development of Type 1 diabetes and thereby accelerate the progress toward therapeutically intervening in order to restore normal insulin production.

The global market for products in the management of diabetes (for Types 1 and 2) is illustrated below.

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #D510, “Diabetes Management: Products, Technologies, Markets and Opportunities Worldwide 2009-2018.”