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Re: [IP] Artificial Pancreas

Why are scientists spending so much time and money on many different things,
instead of concentrating on one thing, like cell transplants or whatever.
It sounds to me like this artifificial pancreas does the same thing.  So why
spread themselves thin?  It just doesn't make sense.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph P Palello" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2002 4:30 PM
Subject: [IP] Artificial Pancreas

> Trial of Artificial Pancreas Set for Launch
> Fri May 10, 5:46 PM ET
> By Manfreda Cavezza
> LONDON (Reuters Health) - Clinical trials will begin next month for a
> prototype artificial pancreas designed for use in patients with type 1
> diabetes.
> Scientists at City University here say the artificial organ should be able
> help patients with the disease, whose bodies do not produce the blood
> sugar-processing hormone insulin, to have better controlled blood sugar
> fewer episodes of dangerously low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, than are
> achievable with insulin pumps.
> The prototype pancreas delivers insulin continuously under the skin and
> maintains blood sugar, or glucose, at a constant level, Dr. Roman Hovorka
> Reuters Health in an interview. "It has the potential to reduce the most
> dangerous aspects of diabetes such as hypoglycemia, amputations and
> blindness," Hovorka said.
> The prototype is made up of three parts: a sensor placed on the skin that
> measures blood glucose levels, a hand-held computer that analyses this
> information, and a small pump that infuses glucose into the body.
> "It will be small enough for men to fit it on their belts or women to
place it
> inside their bras," said Hovorka. He hopes the product will be on the
> in 5 years.
> Funded by the European Commission (news - web sites) and insulin pump
> manufacturer Dietronic, the project is believed to be at a further stage
> similar versions in the US. Hovorka said that US competitors have still
> begun clinical trials.
> The first randomised controlled trial for the prototype takes place next
> in a hospital in Austria. Twelve patients will be maintained in the
> for 24 hours on two occasions. They will first be given treatment via
> pumps currently used in Europe, and will then use the artificial pancreas.
> Since January 2000, Hovorka has tested the prototype on over 20 volunteers
> Austria and Italy, achieving "very promising results." Their glucose
> were maintained at an average of 6.2 mmol/L (125 mg/dL). The normal level
> about 5.5 mmol/L (111 mg/dL), and most patients with type 1 or
> insulin-dependent diabetes can only maintain an average of 8.9 mmol/L (179
> mg/dL) using the methods currently available, he noted.
> A unique computer model of the disease, on display at City University on
> Friday, has also aided research. Nicknamed Bina, the computer holds data
on a
> number of diabetic profiles. The scientists were able to evaluate various
> components of the prototype without the need for animal testing using the
> computer model.
> "We believe this product will have a significant and important effect on
> lives of people with type 1 diabetes. But the technology is expensive, so
> will not be able to help everyone," added Hovorka.
> ----------------------------------------------------------
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