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Case Western Reserve receives Helmsley Trust grant to develop new glucose-sensitive insulin
Date:3/14/2013

Cleveland, OhioCase Western Reserve University's School of Medicine has received a nearly $1 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust's Type 1 diabetes program.

The three-year award will support research on a rapid-acting, glucose-responsive insulin by biochemistry professor Michael A. Weiss, MD, PhD, MBA, an internationally recognized leader in insulin research for nearly a quarter century. Weiss will lead work on a form of insulin that detects when levels of the sugar-storing hormone may be too high or low, reducing the risk of hypoglycemia in diabetes patients. If the research is successful, this new type of insulin would most likely be developed through Cleveland-based Thermalin Diabetes LLC, a company Weiss founded in 2009.

The Intelligent Insulin Project

National Institutes of Health-sponsored clinical trials conducted by Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and others have established that long-term complications of Type I diabetes (T1D) such as blindness and kidney failurecould be delayed or prevented by tightly controlling the concentration of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Such control is achieved by administering insulina hormone that instructs the body to remove sugar from the blood and store it for later releasewith each meal to dampen the spikes in blood sugar that occur when the body digests carbohydrates.

But when too much insulin is given, the patient experiences a "low"a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episode that can lead to confusion, anxiety, irritability and, with progressive severity, loss of consciousness, convulsions or even death. Preventing an insulin overdose is a challenge. Carbohydrate consumption frequently falls short of pre-meal estimates. Patients can also drive their blood sugar levels low by being more active than expected. When either of these things occur, the insulin dose that was given before a meal can turn out to be too large and the patient b
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Contact: Bill Lubinger
william.lubinger@case.edu
216-368-4443
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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