On Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration finally approved Amylin Pharmaceutical's diabetes drug Bydureon, which provides glycemic control for diabetes type 2 in a once-weekly injection. The approval follows two earlier rejections in 2010, when the FDA asked the company to go back and carry out a new trial of the drug's effect on heart rhythm. The company describes Bydureon (exenatide extended-release for injectable suspension) as the first of its kind. It is a once-a- week version of Byetta, the company's 7-year-old diabetes drug that has to be injected twice a day. The drug, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, is approved for use alongside diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. The company says it will be available in pharmacies throughout the US in February.
An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that between 1996 and 2008, the number of leg and foot amputations among U.S. individuals, aged 40+ with diagnosed diabetes, decreased by 65%. The study, entitled "Declining Rates of Hospitalization for Non-traumatic Lower-Extremity Amputation in the Diabetic Population Aged 40 years or Older: U.S., 1988-2008, " is published online in the current issue of Diabetes Care. In 1996, the age-adjusted rate of leg and foot amputations was 11.2 per 1, 000 individuals with diabetes. However, in 2008 this rate fell to 3.9 per 1, 000. Non-traumatic, lower-limb amputations, refers to amputations caused by circulatory problems, rather than those caused by injuries. Circulatory problems are a prevalent adverse effect in individuals suffering with diabetes.
There has been a large drop in the rate of leg and foot amputations among Americans aged 40 and over with diagnosed diabetes, according to a new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in the February issue of Diabetes Care. The study reports that between 1996 and 2008 the rate of such amputations fell by 65%. The authors suggest the most likely reason for this large drop in leg and foot amputations among people with diagnosed diabetes is improvements in blood sugar control, foot care and management of diabetes. Reduction in rates of cardiovascular disease is also likely to have contributed, they said. For their study, the authors used data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey and the National Health Interview Survey. They report that after adjusting for age, the rate of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations was 3.
Engineers at Brown University have designed a biological device that can measure glucose concentrations in human saliva. The technique could eliminate the need for diabetics to draw blood to check their glucose levels. The biochip uses plasmonic interferometers and could be used to measure a range of biological and environmental substances. Results are published in Nano Letters. For the 26 million Americans with diabetes, drawing blood is the most prevalent way to check glucose levels. It is invasive and at least minimally painful. Researchers at Brown University are working on a new sensor that can check blood sugar levels by measuring glucose concentrations in saliva instead. The technique takes advantage of a convergence of nanotechnology and surface plasmonics, which explores the interaction of electrons and photons (light).
A receptor found on blood platelets whose importance as a potential pharmaceutical target has long been questioned may in fact be fruitful in drug testing, according to new research from Michigan State University chemists. A team led by Dana Spence of MSU's Department of Chemistry has revealed a way to isolate and test the receptor known as P2X1. By creating a new, simple method to study it after blood is drawn, the team has unlocked a potential new drug target for many diseases that impact red blood cells, such as diabetes, hypertension and cystic fibrosis. Researchers can evaluate the receptor not only in developing new drugs but also re-testing existing medications that could work now by attaching to the receptor. "Scientists are always looking for new 'druggable' receptors in the human body, " Spence said.