May 11, 2012

Friday Tidbits 05-11-12

I have had this article for a while, but did not want to write an entire blog about it. I feel that it needs some exposure, especially since the president for medicine and science of the American Diabetes Association, Vivian Fonseca, MD, of Tulane University in New Orleans had to vehemently criticize it. If there is any truth to the study, you know that with the guidelines just issued, the ADA would have to criticize it to protect their newly published guidelines.

There does seem to be some discrepancies in the study, but it is still worth knowing about and pondering. Maybe this will encourage more studies that are more definitive rather than the multitude of short studies which cannot lead to accurate conclusions.  One thing that does stand out is noted by the authors - “an overlooked finding in the UK study was that in non-overweight diabetes patients, the drug, when combined with sulphonylurea, actually appeared to increase mortality.” This combination of medications (metformin and sulphonylurea) is part of the new guidelines and we should know about this.

The next items are all about the company Living Cell Technologies. Things are beginning to move rapidly for this Australian company, headquartered in New Zealand.  First – LCT has been successful in their patent applications to the United States and the European Union. This will allow them to begin FDA trials in the near future with their DIABECELL porcine cell transplantation into people with type 1 diabetes who are hypoglycemia unaware.

The product is already on the market in Russia and trials are underway in New Zealand and Argentina. DIABECELL will improve the quality of life of people with unstable type 1 diabetes though the normalization of blood sugar levels, a significant reduction in sometimes fatal episodes of unaware low blood glucose, as well as potentially allowing significant reduction of insulin dependency. The biggest plus is that no immunosuppressants are required (my emphasis).

I am continuing to read every press release I can to see what may be next and when. We know that when dealing with FDA, little or no information will be available until such time as it is coming out of trials and approval has been granted for use or it has been rejected.

Also recently Dr Andrea Grant has been named the new CEO of Living Cell Technologies. She replaces Dr Ross Macdonald.

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