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Drug developed at the Heritage College offers potential hope for patients with type 2 diabetes

 
 
 
 
(ATHENS, Ohio — Dec. 5, 2014) A drug developed at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine shows promise in halting the onset of obesity-related type 2 diabetes. Lab results from preclinical studies found the drug made treatment groups, which were on a high fat diet, more insulin sensitive, halted an increase in fat mass, and prevented the onset of type 2 diabetes.

“The implications are enormous,” said Kelly McCall, Ph.D., associate professor of endocrinology at the Heritage College. “This drug could significantly change the treatment protocol for Type 2 diabetes.”

McCall, her research team, and colleague Frank Schwartz, M.D., Heritage College professor of endocrinology, J.O. Watson Diabetes Research Chair and director of Ohio University Diabetes/Endocrine Diseases Biorepository, have been investigating how the drug, C-10, affects various autoimmune-inflammatory diseases.

Patients with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance, meaning that insulin produced by the pancreas does not work as effectively as it should. When people eat, blood glucose (sugar) levels rise. Under normal conditions, the pancreas produces insulin, which causes glucose from the blood to be taken up into cells. Because cells do not respond to insulin properly in patients with type 2 diabetes, these individuals can’t maintain normal blood glucose levels. Consequently, too much glucose builds up in the blood, which can cause organ damage or lead to a heart attack or stroke, among other things.

Obesity is the main cause of type 2 diabetes. More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, putting them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three people will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, leading to additional health complications and billions of dollars in medical costs and lost wages every year. Early research indicates that type 2 diabetes could potentially be slowed or stopped in patients who take C-10, which blocks a key pathway that plays a role in the disease.

“The preclinical lab results showing C-10’s effects on type 2 diabetes are very promising,” said McCall, whose studies have been supported through multiple grants, including a $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

C-10 is currently awaiting clinical trials.

“We are enormously proud of our many researchers, including Drs. McCall and Schwartz. With determination and patience, they search for solutions to the most prevalent health problems we face today,” said Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O. “As we’ve seen repeatedly, discovery drives medicine, and it changes lives for the better.”

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Last updated: 01/28/2016