Cure for Diabetes

12/28/11

[Editor's note: We asked a group of Xconomists to answer the following question: "If you could patent one thing, what would it be?"]

If I can only pick one, I’d patent a functional cure for diabetes—whether it’s an artificial pancreas, a treatment to spare beta cells, or a means to prevent insulin resistance. However it can be done, this is the largest unmet need out there, and therefore an opportunity to improve the lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. We all know the statistics, but it is an enormous threat to our country—chronic, expensive, and debilitating.

Bryan Roberts, Ph.D. is a partner with Venrock. Follow @

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  • http://www.zyprexa-victims.com Daniel Haszard

    Be aware of drugs that potentiate diabetes.
    Eli Lilly Zyprexa Olanzapine issues linger.

    The use of powerful antipsychotic drugs has increased in children as young as three years old. Weight gain, increases in triglyceride levels and associated risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The average weight gain (adults) over the 12 week study period was the highest for Zyprexa—17 pounds. You’d be hard pressed to gain that kind of weight sport-eating your way through the holidays.One in 145 adults died in clinical trials of those taking the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa.
    This was Lilly’s #1 product $5 billion per year sales,moreover Lilly also make billions more on drugs that treat diabetes.
    — Daniel Haszard Zyprexa activist and patient.

  • http://www.bu.edu/otd Vinit Nijhawan

    BU professor Ed Damiano and his clinical collaborator at MGH Steve Russell are close to developing an artificial pancreas: http://www.artificialpancreas.org..

    Vinit Nijhawan
    Boston University

  • M Bennett

    As a parent of a type-1 teenager old – I applaud your aspirations. The reality is the Artificial Pancreas is alive and working today in many parts of the world but is being held up in the US due to regualtory review and the “Strip Conspiracy”…. those who make and sell the testing strips who will lose billions in annual revenue when the AP comes online. Yes, they are hedging with investments in AP technology, but don’t fool yourselves about the financial stakes. Thanks for posting this. Mark

    Details at:
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/12/01/uk-diabetes-idUKTRE7B00EM20111201

  • Guest

    I’ve personally worked on the artificial pancreas effort but wouldn’t consider it a cure. It’s a work around that improves the quality of life for an insulin dependent patient but it’s only a stepping stone. When I think of a cure, I think of a temporary treatment with a lasting benefit so great you can’t determine any difference between a cured patient and a healthy control.

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