Diabetes has become an epidemic. More than 422 million people worldwide have been treated for life. Science is trying to find a cure for this chronic disease, but how close are we? Can diabetes be cured in 2020? Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, stroke, amputation and heart attack. The number of people affected by all types of diabetes is now more than four times higher than that of 40 years ago. This led to the WHO (WHO) treating diabetes as an epidemic and predicted that it would soon become the seventh leading cause of death in the world.
Although the impact is enormous, it is still unable to cure diabetes. Most treatments can help patients control symptoms to some extent, but diabetic patients still face many long-term health complications. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes affect insulin regulation. Insulin is the hormone required for glucose uptake in cells, resulting in high levels of blood sugar. Over time, high blood sugar levels can worsen the body, especially the eyes, kidneys, heart and blood vessels.
Although type 1 diabetes is a disease caused by human immunity, it can destroy insulin production. β Pancreatic cells, but in type 2 diabetes, these cells still have functions, but due to genetic factors, obesity, high calorie diet and basically no exercise, the body will produce insulin resistance. The biotechnology industry has seen this opportunity and is working hard to develop new diabetes treatments and pursue the Holy Grail: cure. Let’s see what is brewing in this field and how it will change the way diabetes is treated. Development status by 2020.
Stem cell therapy manufacturing facility
Although it is still in the early stage of development, cell therapy is one of the greatest hopes for the development of diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes. Replacing the missing insulin producing cells may restore normal insulin production and cure the patient.
However, the early attempts of pancreatic cell transplantation basically failed, mainly because the immune response to donor cells led to complications and eventually destroyed the implanted cells. The lack of donors is also a constraint.
The most advanced alternative is a bioengineering micro organ being developed in which insulin producing cells are encapsulated in a protective barrier. Two years ago, DRI announced that the first patient treated in the ongoing phase I / II trial no longer needed insulin treatment. It is hoped that in 2020 diabetes cell therapy can be treated by a small number of people. The company is working to improve the implantation of insulin producing cells.
Large pharmaceutical companies are in the early stages of developing their own diabetes cell therapies. One of the largest providers of diabetes treatment claims that the first clinical trial is likely to take place in the next few years.
Anti immune system
In type 1 diabetes, the insulin producing cells are gradually destroyed until they disappear completely, and the patients depend entirely on insulin injection. Stopping disease progression early in the process can protect cells and provide treatment for patients with early diagnosis. This experiment is being carried out in France, an immunotherapy aimed at preventing type 1 diabetes. The results have not been published yet, and it will be revealed later whether the treatment is likely to be a cure.
Another clinical trial in Belgium adopted an unusual way to prevent type 1 diabetes. The company uses cheese producing bacteria to provide two drugs that stimulate regulatory T cells to guide the immune system not to attack insulin producing cells.
The development of type 1 diabetes vaccine is aimed at delaying the progression of type 1 diabetes after early diagnosis. The emphasis of the treatment is to reduce the level of inflammatory protein, which is thought to be associated with a variety of autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes and lupus.
Efforts to cure or stop type 1 diabetes are still at an early stage, and these methods are not suitable for those who have lost insulin producing cells. One solution might be to create an “artificial pancreas” – a fully automated system that measures blood glucose levels and injects the correct amount of insulin into the blood, just like a healthy pancreas.
Replacing humans with computers can enable patients to better control their blood glucose levels and reduce complications in the long run. It has been proved that only a partially automated system can wirelessly monitor blood glucose levels, but patients still choose the amount of insulin, which can reduce the chance of reaching life-threatening low glucose levels by up to 39%.
Induced insulin production
Over the past ten years, over 40 new drugs and injections have been approved for the treatment of diabetes. However, the terrible reality is that most patients with type 2 diabetes still have poor glycemic control.
The most important factor in the treatment of type 2 diabetes is glucagon like peptide (GLP) -1 receptor agonist. β- It induces insulin production in pancreatic cells and inhibits glucagon secretion.
A French company uses different methods and aims at restoring the loss of mitochondrial function in the pancreas, liver and muscles, which is believed to be a driving force for the development of type 2 diabetes.
Sweden is developing a similar drug that has the potential to control both sugar level and blood pressure at the same time, which is also an important risk factor for obese patients with type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is being tested for II phase obesity drugs. The antibody is designed to reduce fat, prevent insulin resistance and control excessive consumption.
In the past decade, scientists have realized that microorganisms living in and on our bodies play an important role in our health. It has been found that the human microbiome, especially the intestinal microflora, is associated with a variety of chronic diseases, including diabetes.
An imbalance microbial group composition has been found in diabetics. The diversity of intestinal microflora is often lower than that of healthy people. Researchers have recently shown that faecal transplantation for the transfer of healthy human microbiota to the intestinal tract of diabetic patients can lead to short-term improvements in insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes.
The field of microbiome is very young, and its complexity makes it difficult to establish causality after finding correlation. It is difficult to ascertain the real potential of the microbial group in this field before testing more diabetes treatments in clinical practice.
Needle free revolution
This is a non-invasive method to replace finger tingling. The blood glucose test is fast and painless. Using electromagnetic wave to measure glucose has been listed in Europe. Similar technologies are emerging, such as lasers to measure blood glucose levels and radio waves. The device can reduce medical costs. This is a popular way to measure blood sugar without a pillow. There is also a graphene patch under development that can provide higher accuracy by measuring sugar levels separately in multiple hair follicles.
Nevertheless, non-invasive options for measuring blood glucose levels often face problems in accuracy.
What is the next step after 2021 diabetes treatment?
By 2021, the diabetes market will combine the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We can expect the emergence of revolutionary technologies and occupy market share. Researchers have speculated that it is possible to diagnose microchips in type 1 diabetes before symptoms appear, or nano robots running in the blood while measuring glucose and insulin.
No matter what 2021 or the future, it will undoubtedly bring great changes to the lives of millions of people around the world.