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New diabetes drug possibly on its way to market
Date: 2012-10-03 22:04:15

A pharmaceutical company is in the mid-stages of testing a new once-a-week treatment for people who have received a positive blood test result for type 2 diabetes, according to Reuters.

Trials for MK-3102, produced by Merck & Co., were shown to reduce the blood sugar of almost 700 subjects, in proportion to the amount of the drug they consumed, in a 12-week study. The next phase of tests will compare MK-3102 to other diabetes treatments.

"We think this is going to be a very attractive choice for patients who have a high pill burden. Any attempt to simplify the regimen for those patients is helpful," Nancy Thornberry, the company's head of diabetes and endocrinology, told Reuters.

The American Diabetes Association states that individuals who have gotten unfavorable outcomes from a diabetes blood test can take pills to keep their blood glucose levels under control, especially if they were diagnosed recently and don't need to take more than 20 units of insulin daily. However, it is not considered likely that oral medications will benefit diabetics who have lived with the condition for more than a decade.

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Group therapy recommended for depressed diabetic women
Date: 2012-10-04 19:08:28

Multiple medical organizations have connected the detection of diabetes through blood testing with a greater risk for the eventual development of depression. According to The Mayo Clinic, depression in diabetics could result from the additional daily stress of managing insulin deficiency and complications from diabetes-related conditions.

However, a study from Loyola University Chicago indicates that group therapy could be more helpful to depressed women coping with type 2 diabetes as a supplementary treatment to antidepressant drugs that could contribute to weight gain. The study included two groups of subjects, all of whom received positive results from diabetes blood testing. One set of subjects underwent typical treatments for diabetes and depression, while another was active in a therapy group. The researchers found 35 percent of those in group therapy remained depressed six months later, as opposed to 80 percent of subjects who underwent normal treatment.

"The next step would be to explore other tailored group cognitive-therapy programs for depression based on gender, race or disease," said Sue Penckofer, a study co-author and faculty scholar at Loyola. "This is particularly important since depression is associated with relapse and use of cognitive therapy is associated with a lower relapse rates."

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French diabetes meds could be much more effective than standard treatments
Date: 2012-10-05 22:53:54

In what could be good news for people whose blood testing for diabetes produced positive results, Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company, has stated that its insulin product Lantus is three times as effective at reducing blood sugar levels compared to other medications.

Sanofi says it came about these findings during a six-year study that included more than 12,500 subjects who had, at one point, undergone blood testing that indicated they had the insulin deficiency condition.

"Contrary to conventional understanding that diabetes is a progressively worsening disease, these new results from this sub-study suggest that achieving and maintaining glycemic control early with insulin glargine might positively affect the natural history of the disease," said Riccardo Perfetti, Sanofi's vice president of Medical Affairs and Global Diabetes.

According to Reuters, Lantus accounts for 80 percent of the global market share for continuously acting insulin, and more than $5 billion worth of the treatment was sold in 2011. The news source also reports that Sanofi has had to focus its efforts on beating competition from drug manufacturers that produce facsimiles of its products at lower costs.

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Exercise could turn "bad" cholesterol into "good" cholesterol, study says
Date: 2012-10-09 22:23:55

A plethora of scientific evidence shows that taking up an exercise routine can, over time, lower the results of cholesterol tests. However, new findings published in the Journal Lipid Research indicates that a workout schedule could lead to fat cells producing a hormone that creates high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" kind of cholesterol.

"When you exercise and diet, you're improving the function of your adipose tissue, your heart and vascular systems, and even muscle performance," said lead study author Christine Ballantyne, director for the Methodist's Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. "You're getting a lot of benefits that you may not see by just looking at the weight on a scale."

Researchers came to this conclusion by examining data of overweight or obese individuals who had a positive result from a blood test for diabetes and signed up for study that would monitor them while they switched to a much healthier lifestyle. Their blood was periodically drawn to test for HDL and other substances.

According to the American Diabetes Association, results from a cholesterol test showing high amounts of low-density lipoprotein increase the odds of receiving a similarly gloomy result from a blood test for diabetes.

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Hormone connected to multiple diseases
Date: 2012-10-10 18:25:27

A recent study shows that high levels of a certain satiation hormone called proneurotensin, found in the gastrointestinal system, could be linked to an increased probability of receiving positive blood tests for diabetes or breast cancer, and may even make the chances of a heart attack more likely.

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, this study compiles examinations of blood samples collected over several years from more than 4,500 individuals participating in the Swedish population study Malmo Diet and Cancer.

"It was surprising to find such a clear link to the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well as to breast cancer," said Olle Melander of the Department of Clinical Sciences at Lund University. "Obesity is a common risk factor for all three conditions, but the connection with proneurotensin is not explained by obesity or other known risk factors."

HealthDay News spoke with Melander in a follow-up report, and the study's primary author told the news source that the correlation between higher-than-average amounts of proneurotensin and higher chances of unfortunate outcomes from blood tests applied to women, but not men.

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Insulin manufacturer's stock drops
Date: 2012-10-28 21:59:10

Bloomberg reported that pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk's stock has dropped by 3.3 percent on Oct. 26, making it the company's largest loss in more than a year, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it may require the Danish drug maker's newest insulin product, Treisba, to undergo additional studies.

The source noted that medications for diabetes, which can be detected with a lab test, have been monitored more closely by health authorities after it was revealed that GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia increased the risk of heart attacks. The FDA also wrote in a report that analyses of previously conducted studies have shown that Novo Nordisk's product poses more of a risk to heart health, compared to the other products on the market

According to Bloomberg, an analyst at Berenberg Bank wrote that if the FDA rules that Novo must conduct additional studies on the cardiovascular effects of Treisba after its initial approval, it could delay the drug reaching the U.S. market by several years.

"There is no cause for concern based on what we know," Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo's chief science officer told the news source. "This product is approvable. Whether that is with or without a post-approval cardiovascular outcomes study commitment, it's a different story."

Japanese officials have already approved Treisba, as has a European Advisory board on Oct. 19.

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