Aussie Scientists Make Diabetes Breakthrough

Research may lead to better treatment for type 2 version
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2007 1:23 PM CDT
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(Newser) – A major breakthrough by Australian researchers could be the beginning of the end for type 2 diabetes. The team identified an enzyme that blocks insulin production. Until now, treatment has sought to manage insulin levels but couldn’t attack the root of the problem, ABC News explains. Now, pharmaceutical companies can develop therapies to target the offending enzyme.

Researchers caution that it could take more than a decade to develop an effective drug, but they are now confident that such drugs are possible. “It's like slotting in a critical part of a jigsaw puzzle,” said one researcher, “a part that suddenly makes the whole picture much clearer.” Diabetes kills 1.1 million people each year, and the number is rising.