An experimental therapy being developed for diabetes may completely change the way patients treat both Type 1 and Type 2 variants of the disease. This treatment was originally tested on mice, and involves implanting genetically engineered cells under the skin. These cells automatically release insulin as required by the body. Mice that were treated using this method were found to have normal blood sugar levels for several weeks during evaluation.
Scientists hope to obtain a clinical trial license to test this new technology on patients within the next 2 years. “By 2040, every tenth human on the planet will suffer from some kind of diabetes, that’s dramatic. We should be able to do a lot better than people measuring their glucose,” says Martin Fussenegger, lead researcher. If this treatment is confirmed to be both effective and safe in humans, patients could be given an implant that would only have to be replaced 3 times per year. This implant could also control blood sugar levels more effectively than regular injections.
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