Johnson & Johnson launches major research on Type 1 diabetes
Here’s s a story that might ultimately spell good news for those suffering from the Type 1 Diabetes and them having to take insulin every day for life:
“Johnson & Johnson has begun a research partnership to find the root cause of Type 1 diabetes and stop the hormonal disorder in its tracks. It’s the health care giant’s first project under its ambitious initiative to prevent or at least intercept and reduce harm from many diseases.
In a collaboration with immunologist and Washington University professor Dr. Emil Unanue and his colleagues, researchers at J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals will explore how specific immune system cells are involved in the initiation and progression of Type 1 diabetes.
The disease, also called juvenile diabetes, affects about 5 percent of Americans with diabetes, roughly 1.25 million people. For reasons that aren’t clear, the immune system attacks and destroys beta cells in the pancreas that make the hormone insulin, which is needed to convert blood sugar into energy. As a result, patients must take insulin every day for life. When diabetes is poorly controlled, complications including blindness, amputations and kidney failure can result.
“We hope to be able to manipulate the (immune) system in such a way that this no longer drives the destruction of beta cells, while maintaining protection against infections and tumors,” said Dr. Joseph A. Hedrick, leader of that project.