HEALTH

Generex subsidiary, Immune Tolerance Network to develop improved diabetes diagnostic test

BY Alaric DeArment

WORCESTER, Mass. The Immune Tolerance Network and a company that develops immunotherapeutics have signed an agreement to implement a better diagnostic test for Type 1 diabetes.

Antigen Express, a subsidiary of Generex Biotechnology Corp., said Tuesday that the diagnostic test is based on technology that Antigen Express is developing and that the ability to identify patients with Type 1 diabetes earlier and more accurately would benefit the management of those patients.

Antigen Express’s technology allows for more potent and specific activation of CD4+ T helper cells, both after immunization and using blood cells outside the body. In Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile-onset diabetes, the cells become aberrantly activated to recognize proteins associated with cells involved in insulin secretion, leading to the cells’ destruction.

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Presence of NNAL in urine may be linked to development of lung cancer in smokers, research finds

BY Drug Store News Team

NEW YORK New research has found that the presence of the metabolite NNAL in urine might be the reason that some smokers are afflicted with lung cancer while others are not, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 100th Annual Meeting. NNAL has been shown to induce lung cancer in laboratory animals, but the effect in humans had not yet been studied.

“A history of smoking has always been thought of as a predictor of lung cancer, but it is actually not very accurate,” said Jian-Min Yuan, Ph.D., M.D., associate professor of public health at the University of Minnesota. “Smoking absolutely increases your risk, but why it does so in some people but not others is a big question.”

Researchers collected data from 18,244 men enrolled in the Shanghai Cohort Study and 63,257 men and women from the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Researchers collected blood and urine samples from more than 50,000 patients, in addition to in-person interviews to assess levels of cigarette smoking, dietary and other lifestyle factors. To evaluate the impact of NNAL, researchers identified 246 current smokers who later developed lung cancer and 245 smokers who did not develop lung cancer during the 10-year period following initial interview and collection of urine samples.

Levels of NNAL in the urine were divided into three groups. Compared with those with the lowest levels, patients with a mid-range level of NNAL had a 43% increased risk of lung cancer, while those at the highest level had a more than two-fold increased risk of lung cancer after taking into account the effect of number of cigarettes per day, number of years of smoking and urinary levels of cotinine on lung cancer risk.

Levels of nicotine in the urine also were calculated. Those with the highest levels of nicotine and NNAL had an 8.5-fold increase in the risk of lung cancer compared with smokers who had the lowest levels after accounting for smoking history.

“Smoking leads to lung cancer, but there are about 60 possible carcinogens in tobacco smoke, and the more accurately we can identify the culprit, the better we will become at predicting risk,” said Yuan.

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Sanofi-Aventis announces availability of insulin pen in the United States

BY Alaric DeArment

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. A disposable insulin pen for patients ages 4 and older with Type 1 diabetes and adults with Type 2 diabetes has become available in the United States.

Sanofi-Aventis U.S. announced Monday the availability of the Apidra SoloSTAR, a pen with the fast-acting insulin analog Apidra (insulin glulisine [rDNA origin]). The pen received Food and Drug Administration approval in February, following the approval and launch of the long-acting Lantus SoloSTAR (insulin glargine [rDNA origin]).

“Sanofi-Aventis is committed to providing innovative tools to patients with diabetes that can help ease some of the challenges of blood sugar management,” stated Jerry Durso, Sanofi-Aventis U.S. VP Specialized Therapeutics Business Unit. “Apidra SoloSTAR provides patients with a convenient option for administering their Apidra.”

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