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[IP] Implantable gizmos
>From YAHOO Health Headlines
Thursday November 16 5:21 PM ET
'Artificial Pancreas' Being Developed for Diabetics
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Medical Research Group, Inc. (MRG) has begun
human trials of technology that it hopes will become an artificial pancreas
system for people with type 1 diabetes.
The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach that secretes insulin into the
blood stream to regulate the level of sugar. In diabetics, specialized
insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are killed, often by an inappropriate
immune response, causing a build-up of sugar in the blood.
Currently, diabetics monitor their blood sugar levels and give themselves
insulin injections several times a day, to maintain the right balance.
The Sylmar, California-based device firm plans to integrate an implantable
glucose monitor, an implantable insulin pump and control algorithm software,
to create a system that automatically monitors glucose levels and delivers
An early clinical trial of the monitor and pump is under way at France's
Montpelier University, MRG said in a news release issued on Wednesday. In
addition, the firm has received regulatory clearance for US clinical trials
and hopes to begin the studies within the next 30 days.
The Montpelier study, which is designed to collect at least 6 months of data
on 50 patients, will evaluate the safety and accuracy of the glucose monitor.
The pump that is being used in the trial is similar to one that is already
used in over 600 patients, MRG noted.
``If this trial continues to be successful, we will seek regulatory approval
to download control algorithm software into the already implanted hardware to
achieve automatic control of glucose, creating an 'artificial pancreas,'''
the company explained.
The sensor, which delivers continuous blood glucose level readings, is
implanted in a blood vessel, while the insulin pump is implanted in the
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