Penn researchers advance potential cure for type 1 diabetes was reported by Michael Tanenbaum for the PhillyVoice.com, 8 September 2020. 

A cure for type 1 diabetes appears to be one step closer to reality after researchers at the University of Pennsylvania successfully transplanted insulin-producing cells in multiple animal models.  In a new study published in Nature Metabolism, a Penn-led research team demonstrated viable beta-cell transplants through the skin in both mice and monkeys. The preclinical studies are an important step on the way to human clinical trials.  (I couldn’t resist using a Matrix image!)

“Transplanting beta cells under the skin of patients may have many advantages, including safety and ease of monitoring, and here, we’ve shown in preclinical experiments that these grafted cells can survive and function to reverse diabetes long-term,” said senior author Dr. Ali Naji, a surgical research professor at Penn.

Penn researchers developed a mixture of molecules to simulate the environment of the pancreas where beta cells normally grow. This Islet Viability Matrix, which includes collagen, appears to promote the survival of beta cells in areas where they would usually not survive.

“IVM appears to suppress signaling that normally would trigger cell death and, at the same time, appears to promote the formation of new blood vessels that can supply the cells with nutrients,” said co-corresponding and co-lead author Divyansh Agarwal.

Read more:  Penn researchers advance potential cure for type 1 diabetes


Taking a cue from traditional Chinese medicine for transdermal insulin delivery was reported by Fraiser Kansteiner for FiercePharma.com, 14 September 2020.  A Singaporean research team took inspiration for its pressure technique from the traditional Chinese medicine therapy “tuina,” which sees a doctor rub and put pressure on the skin before applying a topical cream.

For people taking drugs like insulin, injections are part of their daily routines—but that route can be intimidating and painful. Taking a nod from traditional Chinese medicine, a team of researchers out of Singapore has pinpointed a way to help the skin better absorb drugs usually administered by needle. 

Researchers from Nanyang Technical University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the country’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) say they’ve developed a pressure device resembling a vise clamp that, when applied to a fold of skin, temporarily changes the skin barrier to form “micropores” that greatly increase its ability to absorb drugs. Led by Daniel Lio, the team at NTU’s School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and A*STAR took a cue from the traditional Chinese therapy known as “tuina,” wherein a doctor rubs and puts pressure on the skin before applying an ointment.

The team believes their pressure technique could ease the treatment burden on diabetes patients forced to inject insulin multiple times a day. Using temporal pressure to aid drug absorption through the skin would cut out the discomfort associated with needles and allow gradual release of insulin over time. Plus, it could curb the risk of hypoglycemic events, which can occur when injected insulin acts too quickly, the team added.

Read more:  Taking a cue from traditional Chinese medicine for transdermal insulin delivery


Antibiotic Use Linked to Higher T1D Heart Disease Risk was published by Sara Seitz for InsulinNation.com, 15 September 2020. Frequent bacterial infections and antibiotic use appear to damage the vascular system and increase type 1 risk for coronary heart disease.

A new study out of Finland, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, has found a connection between antibiotic use, high blood bacterial lipopolysaccharides levels, and heart disease that appears to indicate that bacterial infections may be a direct cause of coronary heart disease in people with type 1 diabetes.

Read more:  Antibiotic Use Linked to Higher T1D Heart Disease Risk


Covid-19 Impact on Diabetes Research, Clinical Trials and Technology Development … IT’s BIG! 

What’s Coming and What’s Delayed in Continuous Glucose Monitoring? was reported by Albert Cai for diaTribe.org, 20 May 2020. 

With several clinical trials on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re bringing you a roundup of the latest updates on future continuous glucose monitors (CGM).

Understandably, the FDA also announced a few months ago that it would focus its efforts on devices related to COVID-19. With the disclaimer that it’s impossible to know exactly when the pandemic will subside, when trials might resume, and how FDA reviews might be affected, here is the latest news we’ve heard from companies.

Review includes information on Abbott FreeStyle Libre2, Dexcom G7, Medtronic “Project Zeus” and Senseonics 180-day Eversense XL. 

Read more:  What’s Coming and What’s Delayed in Continuous Glucose Monitoring?

Please meet The Sugar Science (https://TheSugarScience.org):  thesugarscience is an interactive digital platform founded to curate the scientific conversation among type 1 diabetes (T1D) researchers. Our goal is to expedite a cure for T1D by promoting collaboration across diverse research disciplines. Our team is made up of parents of children with type 1 diabetes, as well as dedicated researchers, clinicians, and friends, founded by Monica Westley, PhD.  Their tools include:

    • Off The Record (OTR) is an invitation only, “behind closed doors” conversation on a pre-determined topic in type 1 diabetes. Multi-disciplinary experts from within the T1D field as well as other experts from outside the diabetes field, weigh in and brainstorm for 45 minutes. OTR is a fun way for scientists to get creative and express themselves freely. Reminiscent of a Gordon conference after hours!
    • tech connect: tech connect is where we spotlight companies who are conducting research related to type 1 diabetes. we share their research focus, patents, and key clinical trials with our member scientists.

      Negative data: Negative Data doesn’t get the respect it deserves! It has the potential to be very important in guiding future research. Share negative data from your lab with the community. Send a 700 word max post with optional figure and your contact info. to admin@thesugarscience.org and we will post it here.

I want to learn more! 

You can sign up for their podcasts:  https://thesugarscience.org/scientiststowatch/

Read more:  TheSugarScience

Mastering the basics of clinical trials was published by Antidote.me, for exploring the key aspects of clinical trials. Antidote brings together talented people with pharmaceutical, technology, business, and public health backgrounds to achieve an important mission.

New treatments can’t reach patients without clinical trial volunteers. Recent events, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, have put the importance of these trials at the forefront, and we’ve seen increased interest in taking part. 

At Antidote, we receive a lot of questions about participating in a clinical trial. Here, we’re going back to basics. Read on to explore key aspects of clinical trials, such as:

    • What is a clinical trial?
    • How do clinical trials work?
    • Why consider participating in research?
    • How do you find, match, and screen for a trial?
    • What should you expect once you’ve joined a trial?
    • What happens after the trial is over?
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