Diabetes news in brief

March 7, 2011 - 0:0

- Genetic susceptibility to autoimmunity

A team of researchers from Australia and NZ have made an important breakthrough on the location of genes which may be linked to susceptibility of autoimmune diseases such as type1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
The newly discovered gene locations, on chromosomes 12 and 20, appear to be related to the role played by vitamin D availability and metabolism.
Researchers will now finely map these genetic regions and identify the different genetic changes that underpin autoimmunity with the aim of developing therapeutics that prevent or reverse the process.
- JDRF partners move research forward
JDRF industry partner, Bayhill Therapeutics, has entered into a commercial agreement with Genentech Inc to commercialise a new therapeutic designed to reverse the autoimmune process that causes type 1 diabetes.
This is the fourth commercial agreement that has resulted from JDRF’s Industry Discovery and Development Partnership program, with other agreements being made with GlaxoSmithKline and Lilly.
JDRF developed the IDDP to help small companies develop innovative ideas and products. By supporting this early stage research JDRF looks to encourage larger pharmaceutical companies to carry the products through expensive, late-stage trials and regulatory approvals. The ultimate aim of the program is to bring new diabetes therapies to market faster.
- Cancer drugs reverse diabetes in mice
JDRF-funded researchers in the US have shown that two common cancer drugs can block and reverse type 1 diabetes in mice. The drugs – marketed as Gleevec and Sutent – prevented mice from developing type 1 diabetes and put 80% of the sample population into remission. Both drugs work by blocking an enzyme that triggers cellular growth and division and plays a key role in inflammation. The study was conducted as part of the Immune Tolerance Network.
(Source: Jdrf.org.au)