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RESEARCH UPDATE: CHEMICAL MAY HELP PREVENT TYPE 1 DIABETES

Researchers at the North Shore Long Island Jewish Research Center, in Manhasset, New York, have identified a chemical they believe might one day become a possible vaccine against type 1 diabetes. In animal tests, this compound, which they call ISO-1, appeared to block the type of inflammation that destroys pancreatic islet cells, preventing their destruction -- and thus preventing the onset of type 1 diabetes.

The researchers hypothesize that if individuals known to be "prediabetic" (at high risk for developing type 1 diabetes) could be given the compound, they could be protected against the islet-cell attack, for a long period of time, perhaps for life.

Principal Investigator Yousef Al Abed, Ph.D., believes the ISO-1 compound could hopefully be developed into a new type of oral diabetes medication. It is being tested on animals at this time, and if tests are successful, will proceed to human clinicals. It is at least several years from FDA approval and market.