New Hope for Patients with Diabetes

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Sanofi is working on developing innovative new solutions for patients with diabetes, aiming to improve their lives and eventually find a cure.

Diabetes is an epidemic of global proportions, affecting more than 380 million people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, this number could reach 500 million by 2030, becoming the seventh leading cause of death in the world.

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high levels of blood sugar over a long period of time. The two main types are Type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes, and Type 2, or non-insulin dependent diabetes. The current treatment for Type 1 diabetes is insulins, while for Type 2 diabetes, patients begin to take oral anti-diabetics. Unfortunately, these treatments can only be taken for a certain time, as they do not address the cause of diabetes – insulin resistance and loss of beta cell function. Eventually, these patients have to switch to other agents like insulins.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, amputation and kidney failure and can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Current treatments insufficiently treat the causes of the disease and its many complications.

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Focusing on insulin resistance and the world of beta cells

Sanofi’s Diabetes Division currently focuses mainly on two areas of research: insulin resistance and the world of beta cells. Insulin resistance means that insulin, in diabetics, gradually loses its power to act on the cells to tell them to metabolize glucose. Sanofi has various molecules in pre-clinical or clinical development phases that address not just blood glucose, but other aspects of the disease, like obesity. The Company is currently working on making longer-acting molecules with improved properties as well as molecules that further address different aspects of the disease.

 

Sharing expertise to develop new treatments

One such project is a partnership with Denmark-based Gupra, a specialist in bariatric surgery and identifying molecules that mediate its effects. Bariatric surgery is a set of different types of surgery on the stomach and gastro-intestinal tract that leads to dramatic and sustained weight loss.

Current studies concern identifying new peptides from the gut and isolating these to see if they can be turned into new treatments for diabetes and obesity. Gupra brings its technical skills and expertise to the table, while Sanofi has the means to turn such molecules into drugs.

By addressing the public healthcare challenge that is diabetes, improving management of the disease and working to eventually find a cure, Sanofi and its partners are helping bring hope to people with diabetes, with the aim of improving and prolonging their lives.

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