Breakthrough Aussie discovery promises better treatment of type 2 diabetes

Source: Xinhua| 2020-09-03 13:11:37|Editor: huaxia

SYDNEY, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- A world first Australian breakthrough has paved the way for new treatments of type 2 diabetes, which inflicts suffering on roughly 400 million people worldwide.

By utilising a protein which occurs naturally in the body, researchers from the University of Melbourne believe they can treat the disease far more effectively than current remedies, which are short-lived and carry significant side effects.

The team found that the SMOC1 protein, which is naturally produced in the liver, can decrease blood glucose levels -- meaning an engineered form of SMOC1 could potentially treat people with type 2 diabetes, who suffer from abnormally high blood glucose levels.

Preliminary animal studies showed that a long-lasting form of SMOC1 developed by the team from Melbourne was able to manage blood glucose levels more effectively than existing treatments.

"It was more effective at improving blood glucose control than the current frontline medication called metformin," lead author and University of Melbourne senior research fellow Magdalene Montgomery said.

"It also reduces fatty liver and blood cholesterol levels, which are common health problems in type 2 diabetes patients."

With the number of people globally who suffer type 2 diabetes on the rise, Montgomery said it was increasingly important to explore new treatment options.

"Any therapy that can effectively reduce blood glucose levels can have an enormous impact on patients," Montgomery said.

"It lowers their risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, damage to blood vessels which causes blindness, the risk of amputations and nerve damage which causes pain."

The team said the next step was to advance into human trials which would require engagement from the pharmaceutical industry. Enditem