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Defeat Diabetes
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'Blockbuster' Diabetes Drug Developed

Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2008

Australian researchers said that they had developed a drug which could potentially spell an end to a life-threatening condition caused by diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. 
Scientists from the University of Melbourne and the city's St Vincent's Hospital said the drug had been shown in animal trials to prevent fibrosis, the build-up of irreversible scarring on internal organs.

There are currently no treatments on the market for fibrosis and the new drug, called FT-11, could be as important a discovery as blood pressure drugs if effective, said Professor Darren Kelly of the University of Melbourne.

"It would be an enormous blockbuster drug with an initial market of around 2.0 billion dollars," he said.

Kelly said while the drug would not prevent diabetes -- a chronic illness in which the body fails to produce enough of the hormone insulin to process sugar -- it could prevent complications such as kidney or heart disease.

"We are hoping to delay or prevent those complications which would basically keep those patients off dialysis -which would have a huge benefit for their lifestyle," Kelly said.

The drug, expected to be tested in trials within a year, could be used to prevent diabetic kidney disease and heart disease.

Kelly said 45% of diseases in the developed world could be associated with pathological fibrosis. "We know at the moment in rat studies that our compound inhibited the development of fibrosis, and the interesting thing in the future would be to see whether we can actually reverse fibrosis," he said

Source: Diabetes In Control

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