• New treatment identified for type 2 diabetes

Solid Phase Extraction (SPE)

New treatment identified for type 2 diabetes

Sep 28 2012

Researchers believe they have found a new way of treating type 2 diabetes.

The new discovery blocks signalling from a protein called VEGF-B. This protein affects the way fat is transported and captured in body tissue.

Blocking VEGF-B's signals stops fat from gathering around dangerous parts of the body, such as in the heart and around the muscles. This ultimately enables the cells within these tissues to react to insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is usually brought on by insulin resistance caused by obesity. The cells cease to respond well to insulin, which then encourages the production of high levels of blood sugar.

Scientists now believe they have not only found a way to prevent the condition, but also reverse the progression of the disease during experiments conducted on diabetic mice and rats.

One of the studies conducted by the team took mice bred to suddenly develop diabetes and gave them 2H10, a drug candidate that acts as like antibodies to block the protein's effect.

It was found that the mice did not develop insulin resistance or diabetes.

Described as a "breakthrough" in diabetes research, the study is published in the highly respected scientific journal Nature (September 2012).

The study included scientists from the Karolinska Institutet, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Australian biopharmaceutical company CSL Limited.

Professor Ulf Eriksson of the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Karolinska Institutet explained that the team had initially found the protein, VEGF-B, in 1995. Even though it took 17 years, he was very pleased with the results.

"In this present study we've shown that VEGF-B inhibition can be used to prevent and treat type II diabetes, and that this can be done with a drug candidate," said professor Eriksson.

Earlier in the year, the expert was awarded 15 million Swedish Krona (£1.4 million) from the Heart-Lung Foundation which will be used for further research into VEGF-B.

Posted by Ben Evans

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