Diabetes affects an estimated 340 million people world-wide and its incidence is rapidly increasing throughout both the developed and developing world. In the United States nearly 26 million adults and children live with the disease.
An additional 79 million have prediabetes, which places them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Recently released research by the American Diabetes Association estimates the total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen to $245 billion in 2012 from $174 billion in 2007, when the cost was last examined -- a 41 percent increase over a five-year period.
Metabolic Solutions Development Co.
has recently published a study that shows its new approach for a potential diabetes treatment that re-establishes normal metabolism in cells and reduces insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the decreased ability of some cells of the body to respond to insulin and is the beginning stage of the body not dealing well with sugar.
MSDC published its findings in the latest issue of the scientific journal PLOS ONE
. Data suggests MSDC has found the molecular sensor switch that coordinates carbohydrate, lipid, and amino acid metabolism with cell function. It's a mitochondrial protein complex MSDC calls mTOT and it could be the key to developing insulin sensitizers that do not have the side effects of previous treatments.
The mTOT discovery team is led by MSDC’s co-founders, Jerry Colca, PhD and Rolf Kletzien, PhD, who were among the original researchers in the field of insulin sensitizers.
MSDC contracted with Launch MI Lab in the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center to help define the proteins involved and the mechanism behind their action.
Launch MI Lab supports companies by providing specialized lab instrumentation, including mass spectrometry, for proteomics, metabolomics and bioanalytical quantitative analysis. The lab was created with funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and other sources.
"Being able to access mass spec expertise and services, literally across the hall from our labs, was key to advancing this important scientific work," says Stephen Benoit, Chief Executive Officer of MSDC.
Greg Cavey, Lab Manager for Launch MI Lab, says if not for the lab, MSDC would have had to send this work out of the region, costing time, money and personal interaction. "Instead, MSDC was able to run experiments during the day based on data we generated for them the night before," says Cavey.
Such support demonstrates the value of a life science incubator that provides the essential services, expertise and facilities, says SMIC President and CEO Robert DeWit, Ph.D.
"This is how it was meant to be--having the right scientific knowledge and capabilities here at just the right time," DeWit says. "We’re thrilled for MSDC, we applaud their talented scientists, and we’re pleased to have played a supportive role in their success."
Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Sources: Rick Chambers, for Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, Tara Stultz, for Metabolic Solutions Development Co.
For an informational video from Metabolic Solutions regarding their research visit here