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A common blood-pressure medication could reverse T1D

JDRF-funded researchers in the US have shown that Verapamil, an approved and widely used blood-pressure medicine, is able to reverse type 1 diabetes in mice.

When scientists administered Verapamil to mice who would normally develop type 1 diabetes,  their beta cells survived and continued to produce insulin. Excitingly, when Verapamil was given to mice who already had diabetes, the number of functioning beta-cells increased – effectively curing the mice.

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Commercialisation of Australian breakthrough T1D research

JDRF-supported Australian researcher Professor Ann Simpson from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has developed insulin-producing cells from liver cells. This new technology has been picked up by American biotech company Nuvilex, who have obtained exclusive worldwide rights to begin commercialisation of the cells.

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In Prof Simpson’s laboratory studies, the specialised line of liver cells, termed “Melligen cells” release insulin as required in response to changing blood glucose levels. Liver cells and pancreatic cells have a similar developmental origin in the fetus,  prompting researchers to begin exploring the possibility of liver cells taking over the role of pancreatic islets in type 1 diabetes.

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