There’s a “new” artificial pancreas in the works, according to Tim Brand of Diabetes Daily, July 25, 2016. This is exciting!
Pancreum (http://99designs-56f5b0ac3db52.jimdo.com/) is a small company in the SF area working on a “low-cost drug delivery platform that will lead to an aritifical pancreas. They’ve been in development for many years but keeping a low profile in the media. Their product is called Genesis (I already love the name as my husband drives his favorite car ever, the Genesis!).
According to their website, “You control which components (modules or wedges) to attach to the reusable controller (CoreMD) which can communicate with a hand-held controller (or smartphone) and is programmed to configure itself based on which wedges are detected. When all wedges are released, you may use the same CoreMD to create any one of the following systems:
- A continuous glucose monitoring system (Vigil) by attaching a CGM wedge to the CoreMD;
- An insulin delivery device (InsuLean) by attaching an insulin delivery wedge to the CoreMD;
- A dual-hormone delivery device by attaching an insulin delivery wedge and a glucagon delivery wedge to the CoreMD;
- A closed-loop insulin delivery and CGM device (Mine) by attaching both an insulin delivery wedge and a CGM wedge; or
- A closed-loop bionic pancreas device (Genesis) by attaching an insulin delivery wedge, a glucagon delivery wedge, and a CGM wedge.
While they sport the #WeAreNotWaiting, they quote Margaret Mead, significant anthropologist in the 20th century, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”
A TRULY Long-Term CGM is in development by GlySens Inc., a privately held corporation. According to their website (http://glysens.com/), the GlySens fully implanted sensor—demonstrated up to 18 month lifetime in preclinical testing—wirelessly links to a convenient external receiver, designed to provide continuous, at-a-glance glucose measurement, recording, and alerts regarding hypo- and hyperglycemic glucose excursions. In contrast with other approaches that may require calibration multiple-times-per-day, system calibration checks of the GlySens sensor are designed to be required only infrequently, freeing users from the need for burdensome care and maintenance. The GlySens’s ICGM glucose monitoring products are currently under development and are not yet approved, cleared or otherwise available for commercial or public distribution. But it’s coming!
Diabetes may be due to the failure of a few specific beta cell ‘hubs’, according to researchers from the University of Birmingham, UK, as published in Cell Metabolism, July 16, 2016.
The significant role of beta cell ‘hubs’ in the pancreas has been demonstrated for the first time, suggesting that diabetes may due to the failure of a privileged few pancreatic islet cells, rather than the behavior of all islet cells, in response to glucose. Researchers used optogenetic and photopharmacological targeting to precisely map the role of the cells required for the secretion of insulin. The team believe that the findings could pave the way for therapies that target the ‘hubs’.
Dr Hodson, who is supported by Diabetes UK RD Lawrence and EFSD/Novo Nordisk Rising Star Fellowships, continued, “These specialized beta cells appear to serve as pacemakers for insulin secretion. We found that when their activity was silenced, islets were no longer able to properly respond to glucose. ”
Prof Guy Rutter, who co-led the study at Imperial College London, added “This study is interesting as it suggests that failure of a handful of cells may lead to diabetes”.