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New Class of Drug - Toll-like receptors (TLRs)

Toll-like receptors (TLRs), so named for their similarity to a fruit fly gene, act as sentinels of the immune system, recognizing danger and activating processes that provide immediate defense and link innate immunity to the adaptive immune response. Anadys Pharmaceuticals (www.anadyspharma.com) recently released clinical data providing evidence that isatoribine, a selective agonist of TRL7, reduced hepatitis C viral load.     Full Story:  http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=148908&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=669404&highlight


Walnuts May Improve Lipid Profile in Type 2 Diabetes 

Abstract from Medscape Medical News December 2004

Adding walnuts to a low-fat diet improves lipid profile for patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a randomized study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

"Walnuts are distinguished from other nuts by virtue of their higher polyunsaturated fat content (and importantly their α-linolenic acid [ALA] content) combined with antioxidants in the form of γ-tocopherol," writes Linda C. Tapsell, PhD, from the National Centre of Excellence in Functional Foods, University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues. "There are mechanistic explanations for the influence of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) on insulin action and energy metabolism, and cohort studies of women in the U.S. have demonstrated a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes with dietary PUFA replacing trans or saturated fatty acids (SFAs)."      Full Story:  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/495023

Funding for this study was provided by The Australian Research Council and the California Walnut Commission.


Insulin Detemir Beat NPH at Blood Glucose Control in clinical tests

Abstract from Diabetes Health - July 2004

A study of 408 people with type 1 diabetes showed that blood glucose control was better with detemir, a long acting insulin analog, than with NPH insulin. During a 16-week study detemir was administered twice daily using two different regimens before breakfast and at bedtime, or at 12-hour intervals. NPH was administered before breakfast and at bedtime. Both detemir treated groups showed an improvement in fasting glucose. The 12-hour interval group showed BGs 27 mg/dl lower than the NPH-treated group; and the before breakfast and bedtime detemir group showed BGs 40 mg/dl lower the NPH-treated group. Risk of minor hypoglycemia was lower in both detemir-treated groups.


Emotional Stress May Precipitate Severe, Reversible Left Ventricular Dysfunction 

Abstract from Medscape Medical News Feb. 9, 2005

Emotional stress can precipitate severe but reversible left ventricular dysfunction caused by an exaggerated sympathetic response, according to the results of a study published in the Feb. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"The potentially lethal consequences of emotional stress are deeply rooted in folk wisdom, as reflected by phrases such as 'scared to death' and 'a broken heart,'" write Ilan S. Wittstein, MD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues. "In the past decade, cardiac contractile abnormalities and heart failure have been reported after acute emotional stress, but the mechanism remains unknown."      Full Story:   http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/499044


New Study Looks at Potential of Inhaled Insulin

      WALTHAM, MA, January 5, 2005 There may be good news for millions of people with diabetes who depend upon insulin injections to control their diabetes.

     A new study is looking at the efficacy of a new insulin that can be inhaled versus injecting it subcutaneously (under the skin), which done repeatedly can cause discomfort, create bruising on the skin, and be cumbersome to perform. Inhaled insulin will offer people with insulin-dependent diabetes ease of use and lessen discomfort by eliminating or reducing the number of subcutaneous injections needed in a day.

     The new treatment being studied is a dry powder form of human insulin that can be inhaled through the mouth from a hand-held aerosol delivery device similar to an asthma inhaler.  It is meant to be taken before meals as an alternative to a subcutaneous injection of a short-acting form of insulin.

     Data from two Phase III studies in Type 2 diabetic patients shows equivalent efficacy between inhaled insulin and traditional insulin injections. Study patients who received the inhaled insulin demonstrated greater compliance in reaching treatment guidelines established by the American Diabetes Association.

     Since extensive and rapid early use of inhaled insulin is expected, an increased level of controlled, long-term pulmonary safety data in diabetic patients is being compiled. Researchers will be also evaluating the effect of inhaled insulin versus subcutaneous insulin regarding asthma control, the frequency and severity of asthma attacks, glycemic control, and fasting plasma glucose.

     Worldwide diabetes currently afflicts an estimated 175 million patients and the incidence of the disease is increasing at alarming rates, with numbers expected to double within the next 25 years. In the U.S., diabetes is the seventh leading cause of all deaths and the sixth leading cause of all deaths caused by disease, claiming the lives of approximately 193,000 U.S. residents each year.

      The one-year study, conducted locally by Dr. Edward J. Busick and MassResearch in Waltham, will be looking at the safety and effectiveness of inhaled insulin in people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

      Men and women who are at least 18 years of age, with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and persistent asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema) may be eligible for this study.  For further information, please contact MassResearch at 781-647-7200


2005                       WALTHAM
Diabetes Center

2005                       WALTHAM
Diabetes Center