Novel drugs to treat type 1 diabetes

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Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a devastating autoimmune disorder resulting in the loss of pancreatic beta-cells. Since beta-cells are the only cells in the body capable of releasing insulin, the loss of these cells results in hyperglycemia that can only be treated by injecting the patient with insulin. By the time T1D is diagnosed, it is estimated that 80-90% of beta-cells have been lost, with the remainder targeted for destruction. 

Our lab recently found a class of drugs that may help to treat T1D in two important ways:

  1. Stimulating existing cells to secret more insulin.

  2. Protecting the remaining beta-cells from destruction. 

Our current work is focused on optimizing the best drug in this class and testing it in rodent models of T1D, with the hope of conducting clinical trials to treat T1D in people some day.  

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