Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics Newsletter

Diabetes Technology Connection
  September 3, 2014 Share with a Colleague View email in a browser






Google Smart Lens Technology

Google Smart Lens Technology

Novartis to license Google “smart lens” technology for diabetes

Alcon, the eye care division of Novartis, will collaborate with Google[x], a specialized team within Google Inc. devoted to finding new solutions to global problems, on the use of Google’s “smart lens” technology in ocular medical applications. For example, the sensors, microchips, and other miniaturized electronics embedded in smart contact lenses could provide a continuous, minimally invasive method to measure glucose levels in tear fluid, helping patients with diabetes better control their blood sugar levels. The smart contact lens would transmit data wirelessly to a mobile device. The agreement in which Novartis/Alcon will in-license smart lens technology from Google[x] covers all ocular medical uses.

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ATTD 2015: Paris, France

Updates from the Field

FDA grants tentative approval for Basaglar™
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted tentative approval for Basaglar (insulin glargine injection), a basal insulin from Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim intended to improve blood sugar control between meals and overnight. It is recommended for use by adults with type 2 diabetes and in combination with mealtime insulin in adults and children with type 1 diabetes. It is not recommended for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis and is contraindicated during episodes of hypoglycemia and in patients with hypersensitivity to insulin glargine. The insulin component of Basaglar is the same as the insulin glargine product currently on the market, and the tentative FDA approval allows for use of Basaglar with the KwikPen® pre-filled dosing device. Full regulatory approval is pending resolution of patent infringement litigation brought by Sanofi, which could require as long as 30 months.

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A single enzyme may link obesity and type 2 diabetes
A U.S.-based research team has found a novel pathway in which the enzyme 12-lipoxygenase (12-LO) is the link between a high fat diet and obesity-induced oxidative stress in pancreatic islet cells that promotes inflammation and compromises the ability of the cells to secrete insulin in response to increases in blood glucose levels. The enzyme could represent a new target for drug development to treat diabetes. In the study, the researchers blocked 12-LO production in one group of mice fed a high-fat diet and showed that these mice had better insulin secretion and were protected from abnormal blood glucose levels compared to mice with 12-LO and fed a high-fat diet. In pancreatic islet cells, 12-LO appears to suppress antioxidant enzymes that could protect the cells. The study was published in a recent issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

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New AstraZeneca, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma collaboration on diabetic nephropathy
AstraZeneca and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC) have announced a three-year research collaboration focusing on diabetic nephropathy, which occurs in as many as 50% of patients who have diabetes for 20 years or more. The collaboration aims to validate and progress novel research targets from each company’s early research portfolios into clinical development.  Research will be performed in parallel at AstraZeneca’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Innovative Medicines Unit in Mölndal, Sweden, and at MTPC’s facilities in Japan. The parties believe that the collaboration will yield high-quality candidate drugs much faster than working alone.

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ATTD Abstract Submission Deadline:
October 21, 2014

The Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes Conference is accepting oral and poster discussion abstracts for its February 18-21, 2015 event in Paris, France. All abstracts will be peer reviewed prior to acceptance for presentation at the event. All accepted abstracts will be published in the journal Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics. Abstracts must be submitted in English through an online submission form.

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JDRF backs Lexicon’s SGLT1/2 inhibitor in phase II study in younger patients
JDRF is providing funding to support a Phase II trial of Lexicon Pharmaceuticals’ LX4211. An oral, first-in-class, dual SGLT1/SGLT2 inhibitor, LX4211 is designed to lower blood glucose levels through two insulin-independent mechanisms of action. This randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of LX4211 in up to 76 patients with type 1 diabetes (younger than 30 and with HbA1c levels greater than 9%). The primary objective is to demonstrate the superiority of LX4211 versus placebo as adjunct to insulin treatment on HbA1c reduction at 12 weeks as well as several secondary endpoints.

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Sanofi acquires exclusive license to commercialize inhaled insulin
Sanofi and MannKind Corp. announced a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement to develop and commercialize Afrezza® Inhalation Powder, a new rapid-acting inhaled form of insulin for adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Afrezza is administered before a meal to improve glycemic control. The companies plan an initial launch of the product in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015. Sanofi will be responsible for global commercial, regulatory, and development activities. MannKind currently manufactures Afrezza, and the companies will collaborate to expand manufacturing capacity to meet demand.

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Expert Spotlight
Derek Rapp

Derek Rapp is the new President and CEO of JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). He is currently Vice Chair of the JDRF International Board of Directors. Rapp’s background includes serving as the Mergers and Acquisitions Lead for Monsanto Company as well as CEO of Divergence, Inc. a start-up biotechnology company.

Eric Renard, MD, PhD, Montpellier University, an expert on intra-peritoneal insulin pumps, hopes to develop an artificial pancreas to improve treatment for people with highly variable responses to insulin.

Ananda (Andy) Basu, MDAnanda (Andy) Basu, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, has been appointed Associate Editor of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics.

Marcello Casaccia Bertoluci, MD, PhD, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, is senior author on the Brazilian Diabetes Society’s 2014 position statement on diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Holly Schachner, MDHolly Schachner, MD, previously at Bayer HealthCare, is now Vice President and Head of the Cardiovascular Medical Unit, North America at Sanofi.

Abbas Orabi, MD, professor of Metabolic Health and co-director of the Boden Institute at the University of Sydney, has been named chair of the International Diabetes Federation Clinical Guidelines Taskforce.

Eli Lewis, PhDEli Lewis, PhD, Professor of Endocrinology, Zagazig University, Cairo, Egypt, is Chair of the 5th Arab Diabetes Forum, September 3-5, 2014, in Cairo.

Henrik B. Mortensen, MD, University of Copenhagen, won the 2014 ISPAD Prize for Innovation in Pediatric Diabetes Care. Mortensen’s research areas include the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes with special attention to the remission phase in new-onset type 1 diabetes.

Mirasol PanlilioMirasol Panlilio has joined Senseonics as Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing. Senseonics is developing an implantable CGM system and recently raised an additional $20 million toward completing European pivotal trials and initiating US IDE trials. Panlilio’s background includes LifeScan, Inc. (a Johnson & Johnson company), and Abbott Diabetes Care.


Expert on the Move

Bionic pancreas improved glucose levels compared to insulin pump
Researchers from Harvard Medical School, Boston University, and Massachusetts General Hospital compared glycemic control with a wearable bionic pancreas versus an insulin pump for five days. The algorithm of the bionic pancreas was automatically adapted via continuous glucose monitoring to control delivery of insulin and glucagon. Among adults (n=20), after one day of automatic adaptation by the bionic pancreas, the mean glucose level on continuous monitoring was lower than the mean level during the control period, and the percentage of time with a low glucose reading was lower. Among adolescents (n=32), the mean glucose level was also lower during the bionic-pancreas period, but the percentage of time with a low glucose reading was similar during the two periods.

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Fenofibrate reduces cardiovascular events by 30% in women with T2D
Researchers from the University of Sydney compared the effects of fenofibrate on lipoprotein levels and cardiovascular events versus placebo in women and men with type 2 diabetes over 5 years and published their results in Diabetolgia. While total, LDL-, HDL-, and non-HDL cholesterol, apolipoproteins A-I and B, and triacylglycerol levels all showed significant improvement in both women and men receiving fenofibrate, women had significantly greater reductions in total, LDL-, and non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B. Furthermore, women taking fenofibrate had a 30% reduction in total cardiovascular outcomes (including cardiovascular death and fatal and non-fatal stroke), compared to 13% among men.

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Jardiance receives FDA approval to treat T2D
The U.S. FDA granted approval to Jardiance (empagliflozin), a sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Recommended as an addition to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes, Jardiance can be used alone or added to existing treatment regimens to control blood sugar levels. The SGLT2 inhibitor works by blocking reabsorption of glucose by the kidney, thereby increasing excretion of glucose and lowering levels of glucose in the circulation. Phase III clinical trials showed that Jardiance improved hemoglobin A1c levels compared to placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes, indicating improved blood sugar control.

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Plasmonic chip for diagnosis of T1D and new biomarker discovery
Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a plasmonic gold chip for near-infrared fluorescence-enhanced detection of islet cell-targeting autoantibodies. Their work, published in Nature Medicine, shows that this method has high sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and can be used to discover novel T1D biomarkers. This new plasmonic chip-based test is inexpensive, portable, and differentiates between T1D and T2D by reliably identifying the autoantibodies associated with T1D. Rapid diagnosis of T1D is critical for the efficacy of emerging therapies.

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Indian researchers develop urine-based method for detection of diabetes
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology have developed a non-invasive sensor for the early detection of diabetes. Their method uses urine versus blood samples and measures 8-hydroxyguanine, a biomarker for diabetes that is found at higher levels in the urine of diabetic patients. The device has an electrode whose surface is coated with single-wall carbon nanotube and is further coated with graphite and gold nanoparticles. The work is published in Bioelectrochemistry.

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The latest ATTD yearbook, Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes
Complimentary access to ATTD Yearbook

The latest ATTD yearbook, Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes, a concise update on key topics with a review of the published literature, is available online with free access. The top-read chapters are: Continuous Glucose Monitoring by Tadej Battelino and Bruce Bode; and Self-monitoring of Blood Glucose by Satish Garg and Irl Hirsch. Other chapters cover physical activity and exercise, new insulins and insulin therapy, and new therapies for diabetes management, insulin pumps, pens, and other delivery devices, artificial pancreas, bariatric surgery, health information technology, and more.

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