Unique biomarkers for diabetes and prediabetes

A Canadian university is launching new clinical research based in part on discoveries by EVMS physician-scientists.

The research, to be conducted by institutions within McGill University in Montreal, combines two medications in an attempt restore and sustain normal inulin secretion in people with type 1 diabetes.

The treatment uses INGAP Peptide, which stimulates growth of insulin-secreting islets within the pancreas. INGAP was co-discovered by Aaron Vinik, MD, PhD, Director of Research at the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center and the Murray Waitzer Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research. INGAP will be combined with ustekinumab, a drug originally approved for the treatment of psoriasis but which has shown promise in controlling the autoimmune response that attacks newly formed islets.

The addition of ustekinumab is based on research by Jerry Nadler, MD, the Harry H. Mansbach Chair in Internal Medicine, Vice Dean for Research and Chair and Professor of Internal Medicine at EVMS.

Diabetes is a life-threatening condition that has become a global public health crisis.  Though less common than type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes affects over 1.5 million people in North America, and its prevalence is also growing.  Type 1 diabetes develops when the body's immune system destroys the beta cells that make insulin, the key hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar levels.