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An international team of researchers may have developed a medication that could lead to improved insulin test results for individuals with type 1 diabetes and potentially even resolve the condition, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Investigators from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the pharmaceutical company Hoffman LaRoche reported that inhibiting the activity of an enzyme known as Bace2 stimulates the activity of a protein called Tmem27. This enables the pancreas to grow more insulin-producing beta cells.
In type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system destroys these cells, which play an important role in blood sugar control. For reasons that are largely unknown, the body is unable to regrow these cells.
The team developed a chemical molecule that successfully inhibits the Bace2 enzyme. In mice bred to have type 1 diabetes, the researchers found that this molecule effectively enabled the animals to beat the condition.
Researchers said they hope their findings could lead to the development of new medications that allow individuals with type 1 diabetes to begin producing their own insulin naturally.
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