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Part 2: CureDM: Human Islet Peptide: An Innovative Therapy for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Endogenous insulin deficiency is the tie that binds all forms of diabetes. – Pittinger, Taylor-Fishwick, Vinik - A role for islet neogenesis in curing diabetes.

 

Many of us think of diabetes as a lack of insulin due to the destruction of the beta cells, but more recent research has shown that the problem is more complicated. Islet cells contain 5 cells that work together. As a matter of fact, in humans beta cells are constantly in contact with alpha cells, epsilon cells, delta cells and somotostatin cells.  Each plays a role in producing hormones necessary for normal glucose levels.  Ever wonder why if you eat the same food, do the same activity, and glucose can vary by 100s of points?  It's likely due to abnormalities in the cells within the islets other than beta cells. With autoimmune attack on the beta cells in type 1 diabetes and chronic destruction of betas in type 2 diabetes, the hormonal balance created from all the cells is thrown off.

 

Roughly 20 years ago, researchers discovered that beta cells expand and contract based on the individual's needs.  When diabetes occurs, the beta cells can't replicate enough to keep glucose levels normal.  Another interesting fact, beta cells will generate more beta cells due to dietary habits to meet the needs of a person, but beyond a certain point of exhaustion is where type 2 Diabetes is diagnosed.

 

Like watching the race to the moon 50 years ago, science seems to be pushing the envelope on stem cell research. The intensity around stem cells has been a fast pace and highly competitive field yielding some new understanding in the biology of many chronic conditions and among the top players is diabetes.  Stem cell research has many fronts, embryonic stem cell has vast capabilities, but the research has been slowed by the moral debate. Other areas have been donor stem cell transplants, which have proved successful in regenerating islets, but did not yield enough insulin to reverse diabetes. Another area that has gotten less coverage is a therapy that holds more promise of adult stem cells that are present in the adult pancreas that can be turned on in times of acute injury.  New islets are turned in response to pancreatic injury such as during acute pancreatitis, pancreatic stones, and data suggests that even at the onset of type 1 diabetes, the pancreas tries to turn on new islets, but the rate of islet neogenesis can't keep pace with the autoimmune destruction.  This is where CureDM is vested.

 

Islet Neogenesis is based on using the body’s own progenitor cells that reside in the pancreas to turn into insulin producing beta cells. Using genomics (study of genes) and proteomic (study of proteins), CureDM figured out how to successfully change progenitor cells into Islet cells which are fully equipped with all 5 cells, alpha, beta, delta, epsilon and PP cells. The key to success comes from Human Islet Peptide, HIP.

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