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Stem Cell Science Holds Opportunities as Important Tool for Diabetes Research Beyond Cell-Based Treatments
Date:10/2/2007

- JDRF President's goal is to progress research from academic settings to

clinical trials and marketable drugs and therapeutics -

BOSTON, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The promise of research utilizing adult and embryonic stem cells is broader than most might think, including not only the longer-term prospects of cell-based therapies, but also opportunities to understand development and test therapeutics for multiple diseases, including diabetes, according to Arnold W. Donald, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The President of JDRF, the largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research in the world, made his remarks at a panel on stem cells and diabetes at The Stem Cell Summit here, a conference sponsored by the Genetics Policy Institute, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and Burrill Life Science Media Group.

"JDRF's focus is on filling gaps in the scientific and drug development process, gaps that once filled could accelerate the pace of science leading to a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. To that end, our objective is to progress research from academic settings to clinical trials and into marketable drugs and therapeutics," Mr. Donald said. "The embryonic stem cell field is obviously in its infancy, and there is so much still unknown. We recognize that basic research is a necessary precursor for the development of cell-based and other therapies. Therefore some of our most valuable contributions are to help researchers have access to the scientific resources they need to move the ball forward."

Mr. Donald noted that while cell-based therapeutics are, realistically, a long way off, they hold the promise of transformational change in diabetes therapy. But equally exciting, he said, is that stem cell science holds excellent promise as a tool for research for understanding normal and abnormal development, and for testing therapeutics for multip
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SOURCE Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
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