The method for treating diabetes has been the same for a century...that may soon change

Posted at 4:10 AM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-07 13:24:15-05

Paresh Dandona is a professor and chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at UB today...but he has been an endocrinologist, or diabetes specialist, since for over 30 years.

“I started in 1975, and every since then diabetes has haunted me because this is the single most terrible condition nobody really knew how to treat.“

He’s been working and investigating the disease for a long time, but says that insulin, the medication used to control blood sugar levels, is an outdated method of treatment.

It was developed in 1921, and hasn’t had many changes other than being refined to adjust the speed at which it works in the body.

In 2010 a team led by Dandona developed a way to test whether drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes could have positive affects on Type 1 Diabetics.

After seeing positive outcomes, his team is back this year with a global study. It will take place in the U.S. and in Scotland.

This global study will test what Dandona calls “triple-therapy”, and uses three drugs together to eliminate the variation of blood sugars in Type 1 Diabetics.

Semaglutide and Dapaglifozin along with insulin will be tested and the expected result will be: Suppresses glucagon which is an antagonist of insulin, a suppressed appetite, reduced weight, and reduced blood pressure.

It’s being funded by grants from Novo Nordisk, the American Diabetes Association, The National Institutes of Health, and the Juvenile Research Diabetes Foundation - which provided its largest research grant ever totaling $1.64 million.

“I think this is a great example of research that Dr. Dandona and his group had done earlier, said Karen Swierski, the executive director of JDRF’s Western New York chapter.

“And it showed so much promise that JDRF came back and funded the second phase.”

The trial will start soon but doctors are still looking for participants, adults with Type 1 Diabetes.

U.S. patients interested in participating should call Jean Hejna at 716-535-1850 or Zahid Sayeed at 716-535-1853.

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