Major diabetes research partnership

Fri, 27 Oct 2006
One of the largest charitable foundations in the world, an avid funder of research into type 1 diabetes, has announced a partnership with a Biosciences company .

The Juvenile Diabetes Research foundation (JDRF) will link with Sangamo BioSciences Inc. in order to support a phase 2 human clinical trial. The study investigates the role of a protein that could treat diabetic neuropathy. The JDRF will contribute up $3 million to the trial.

The product, known as ZFP (Zinc Finger Protein) Therapeutic could greatly improve the efficiency of diabetic neuropathy treatment. Diabetic neuropathy occurs when fluctuating blood sugar levels influence the nerve endings, leading to numbness and eventually more serious problems such as amputation .

The Executive Vice President for Research at the JDRF, Dr. Richard Insel, said: "This partnership provides an opportunity to accelerate the progress of a potential treatment for a significant unmet medical need in diabetes. Currently, more than fifty percent of patients with diabetes for ten years or longer will experience diabetic neuropathy and the treatments currently available are drugs that only address neuropathy-associated pain. Sangamo’s novel approach to diabetic neuropathy has the potential to modify the disease at a more fundamental level by modulating neuroprotective and neurotropic pathways."

The agreement is a part of a wider initiative by the JDRF called the Industry Discovery and Development Partnership Program.
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