A new clinical study to improve tools for measuring the function of insulin-producing beta cells in people suffering from type 2 diabetes has been launched in the United States. The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium has announced the multi-year study, which it is hoped will bring better techniques for monitoring and treating the condition.
The FNIH Biomarkers Consortium combines groups of leading diabetes experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the pharmaceutical industry, academia and the non-profit sector.
Beta cells exist in the pancreas and produce and release insulin, but when they fail to do their job the body is less able to manage its levels of blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes.
Myrlene State, co-chair of the steering committee with oversight on the project, entitled ‘ Diabetes Drug Development: Identification and Validation of Markers that Predict Long-Term Beta Cell Function and Mass’, commented “Today, diabetes researchers are working without the benefit of agreed-upon standards for gauging beta cell function.”
She added “We anticipate this initiative will give researchers practical tools that can be used to measure beta cell function over time and stimulate research to maintain and improve that function.”

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