Press Release
Nov 1, 2022
Biotechnology Advances in Diabetes Diagnosis

World Diabetes Day is acknowledged on 14th November 2022 and according to Diabetes UK, someone is diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes. Like most diseases, early diagnosis can prevent medical emergencies and reduce the ongoing risk later in life. This month we’re exploring how biotechnology companies have made significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.

What is diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 is the most serious of the two whereby your blood glucose (sugar) level is too high. Your body attacks the cells in your pancreas that make insulin, rendering you unable to produce the essential hormone. Type 2 differs slightly in that your pancreas can make insulin, but it doesn’t work effectively or not enough is produced, this means your blood glucose levels keep rising. 

How is diabetes diagnosed?

Traditionally, diabetes is diagnosed with a series of blood tests following periods of fasting and following a liquid drink high in sugar. It can also be determined through urine tests and results can take a few days to process and come back. 

What is the current treatment for diabetes?

For type 1 diabetes, insulin is required either by injection or pump. For type 2 diabetes, insulin may also be required in tablet form though you may be able to treat it by eating well and exercising more often. 

How is biotechnology standing up to the disease?

From medical device development to working to tackle the rise of antimicrobial resistance, biotechnology companies are leading the way in approaching diseases like diabetes, offering more efficient ways of diagnosis and cost-effective treatment solutions. 

  • Cell therapy – there is potential to replace the cells damaged by type 1 diabetes with stem cell-derived beta cells.
  • Peptides – designed to stimulate CD4+T cells to kill immune cells that attack the pancreas with the aim of curing type 1 diabetes.
  • Vaccination – Neovacs in Paris have significantly researched Lupus and the similarities between Lupus and Type 1 Diabetes have led them to branch out into clinical trials for the type 1 diabetes vaccine.
  • Bioartificial pancreas – containing working beta cells to control blood glucose, replacing lost cells and providing access to insulin secreting cells via stem cells.
  • Breath testing – used in diagnosis, detecting the presence of acetone and other biomarkers in the breath for diagnosis of diabetes

How can Biophys help?

Biophys is a life sciences contract research organisation with the aim of raising the profile of early career researchers, supporting them to generate funding. We provide microbiology, quality management, product development (including in vitro diagnostic medical devices) and business management services to biotechnology companies. We are proud to have supported a number of enzyme based businesses including Enzimas of Argentina, Mucos – Wobenzym in Germany and Enzymeking in China. All of whom have been working through Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy (PERT). PERT can significantly support diabetes patients in the management of their insulin and blood glucose levels as well as providing essential treatment for pancreatitis for which the risk is much higher in patients who suffer with diabetes. 

The biotechnology sector is constantly learning, researching and developing ideas for the healthcare industry and is making positive strides towards more efficient diagnosis which in turn leads to accurate treatment plans, personalised to the patient. The long term aim is to save and prolong the lives of patients suffering with all sorts of diseases, including diabetes and to provide additional support and cost-saving efforts to the healthcare industries. 

If you’d like to find out more about how Biophys can support you and your research, contact us today for a chat.

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