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[IP] Israeli Scientists Halt Diabetes


Israeli Scientists Halt Diabetes

28 November 2001

Research, recently published in the November 24th issue of the Lancet 
journal, has shown that a unique approach developed by a team of Israeli 
scientists, led by the Weizmann Institutes Professor Irun Cohen, can halt 
the progression of juvenile, or insulin-dependent, diabetes.

The approach involves treating the newly-diagnosed diabetes patient with a 
small peptide fragment known as p277, which shuts down the misdirected 
immune response that causes the destruction of pancreatic cells in diabetes 
patients. The peptide essentially acts to 4reeducate4 the immune cells, 
switching off their destructive activity, Cohen explains.

The peptide fragment has been commercialized by the Peptor biopharmaceutical 
company from Rehovot into an experimental drug, DiaPep277. According to a 
Weizmann Institute press release, the research using DiaPep277 proved that 
patients receiving the drug showed a halt or delay in the attack upon, or 
destruction of their pancreatic insulin-producing cells by the immune 
system. These results were evident in the level of the body4s own insulin 
production and in a decreased need for insulin injections. The researchers 
reported no significant side effects stemming from the use of DiaPep277.

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