JDRF-funded research points the way towards novel treatment for type 1 diabetes
JDRF Canada salutes the recent discovery of Dr. Pere Santamaria and his team who have identified a novel approach to halt and possibly reverse the autoimmune attack that triggers type 1 diabetes (T1D), causing the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells in T1D patients. This fundamental breakthrough has already started to yield results with the development of a new class of drugs (nanomedicines called Navacims) that could soon transition from the lab to human clinical trials.
In autoimmune disorders like T1D, white blood cells (leukocytes) which normally act as a shield against bacteria and viruses suddenly become disease-causing agents by destroying the body’s good beta cells, thus causing insulin-dependent diabetes for life. Santamaria’s study has identified a ground-breaking protocol to fool the rebellious white blood cells without compromising the entire immune system. This is achieved using microscopic particles carrying protein targets acting as ‘bait’ in order to reset the rogue white blood cells and hopefully cease the dreadful reaction that sets off T1D.
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About the researcher
Dr. Pere Santamaria is Chair of the Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre at the University of Calgary. He is a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases and a member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases in the Cumming School of Medicine. Dr. Santamaria was published in the February 2016 edition of the prestigious journal Nature.
About JDRF Canada
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D. As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $530 million in scientific research in 17 countries. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca
JDRF Media Contact
National Manager, Communications and Public Relations