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A team of researchers from Monash University has received $750,000 in funding to advance research into the development of a new drug to improve glucose control in people living with type 1 diabetes.
Researchers from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) and Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) are spearheading the project with funding from MTPConnect’s Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) program, which was established to improve the prevention, management and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Australia.
The TTRA program is part of a $47 million Medical Research Future Fund initiative being delivered by MTPConnect, Australia’s Growth Centre for the medical technologies, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals sector.
The Monash team, led by BDI’s Professor Michael Cowley, has discovered a new pathway in the body to improve glucose tolerance, and developed new drugs that have shown to improve glucose clearance and reduce blood glucose levels.
Professor Cowley said that people with type 1 diabetes rely on insulin injections for survival, however insulin use has side effects and there is an unmet clinical need for a drug that can work alongside insulin to improve glucose control, whilst reducing insulin-induced adverse effects.
“Insulin use can lead to a number of side effects including hypoglycemia, weight gain and insulin resistance and, furthermore, only 21 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes achieve optimal glucose control with insulin,” Professor Cowley said.
“Our team has discovered a new pathway in the body to improve glucose tolerance, and developed new drugs that improve glucose clearance in type 1 diabetic animal models.
“This funding will enable us to produce the next round of drugs that will have the right pharmacokinetic properties and determine how the drug will be taken with insulin to achieve the best results.”
The Monash team also includes chief investigators Professor Philip Thompson, Dr Stephanie Simonds and Professor Colin Pouton. Carissa Greenough is the project manager and the research team includes Wenxiao Yue, Rekha Shandremugan, Nicholas Barlow and Tomris Mustafa.
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