Animal Studies Suggest Potential Oral Drug for Type 1 Diabetes

Researchers from Israel’s Tel Aviv University have shown that a modified version of an anti-Ras compound (FTS) is effective in increasing insulin production in animal models of type 1 diabetes. The compound (F-FTS) has the potential to become the first tablet-based treatment for children and adults with type 1 diabetes. In the recent study, lead author Dr. Adi Mor and colleagues treated pre-diabetic mice for six months. One group was given F-FTS; another was given no drug at all. The outcome was dramatic. Only 16% of the treated group developed diabetes, while 82% of the untreated group became diabetic. Also, insulin production from beta cells in the treated group of mice increased in comparison to insulin production in the non-treated group, Dr. Mor reported. "Our anti-Ras compound has shown very positive results in inhibiting diabetes," she said. And given the drug's history--FTS has already passed toxicity studies for other diseases and disorders--it has the potential to fast-track through FDA regulatory hurdles, skipping straight to Phase II clinical trials. A new drug for diabetes could therefore be ready in as little as five years’ time. The new research is published in the August 15 issue of the European Journal of Pharmacology. [Press release] [EJP abstract]
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