Free yourself from the needle: Biotech for diabetes

Even though the world is plagued with emerging diseases, there are a number of illnesses that have been known for quite a while, and yet, their contribution to the death toll is higher than their peers. The field of medicine is still struggling to provide a cure to these. One such disease is diabetes.

Diabetes is a situation of the body wherein the individual, due to hampered metabolic functions, has an abnormally elevated level of glucose in the body. This is reflected in clinical tests as high blood sugar readings. This is caused by a number of physiological factors like deficiency of the hormone, insulin, that metabolizes glucose, or the resistance of cells to this hormone.

As a result of the aforementioned factors, glucose remains unutilized by the body and begins to accumulate. And, there has been no radical cure for this situation. Patients just take up to drugs or injecting themselves with insulin to get the body sugar to manageable levels. But this really isn’t a “cure” for the disease and many upcoming biotech conferences are aimed at acquiring a different approach to this.

Why drugs or insulin needles aren’t a radical solution

The function of the hormone, insulin, is to facilitate the metabolism of glucose. What insulin does is that it pushes the glucose into the cells from the blood for it to be utilized. But in diabetes, the cells are already full of glucose. It is like filling in more air into an already inflated balloon, it only takes more force. So, as time progresses, you will need more and more of insulin and the doses are thus much higher than you started with. Especially in the case of diabetes type 2.

Drugs prescribed for diabetes function in a different way. But they don’t make a permanent cure either. These meds ram sugar from the blood into the liver. So, much like the other cells of the body, even the liver begins to accumulate glucose and when it is brimmed, it ships it other places of the body thus making the situation more acute.

What we need to realize is that raised blood sugar is a symptom of diabetes. The aim is not to show decreased levels of this. The goal is to rid the body of the sugar. You must get the trash out of the house and not hide it under the carpet.

A buzzing upcoming conference on Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in Rome, Italy is expecting delegates and speakers from all around the world to discuss novel approaches in Biopharmaceutics. Such platforms are perfect for professionals from a field to interact and foster ideas for a better future.

Can biotech put a full stop to this?

Synthetic human insulin was the first revolutionary step in the path to a cure for the dreaded, diabetes. In fact, producing insulin using bacteria marked the advent of recombinant DNA technology and the field of biotechnology itself. The world is looking up to this field of science to provide better equipment in this severed war against diabetes.

Current day biotech products only provide non-invasive solutions to the problem but not with a very different approach. The latest developments in research include cell-replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. The destroyed cell of the pancreas (the organ in the body that is responsible for insulin production) are looking to be replaced. Or other cells in the body are looking to be “regenerated” to be given the ability of insulin production. Although the cost for this may be astronomical in the current day, research in this direction optimistically points towards a better future.

With upcoming conferences in Rome 2018 seems to be the year of pharmaceutical biotechnology. The aim will not only be to devise a solution, but also to acquire more funding for research in this stream. And then, possibly one day, we will have a cure for diabetes!

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