PHARMACY

Recreating islet cells can boost insulin production, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — In patients with Type 1 diabetes, the islet cells of the pancreas are destroyed, thus eliminating the organ’s ability to produce insulin.

But researchers at Georgetown University have found a way to recreate them using cells from the testicles, according to published reports.

WebMD reported that the researchers took the testicular tissue, extracted the stem cells and used them to create new islet cells. Injecting them into the pancreases of mice with diabetes. The researchers found that the cells began to secrete insulin.

Data from the study were scheduled for presentation at the American Society of Cell Biology’s annual meeting in Philadelphia.

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RediClinic’s operations to nearly double

BY Antoinette Alexander

HOUSTON — RediClinic has announced that it will open 20 new clinics inside H-E-B grocery stores across Texas, which will nearly double the number of RediClinics currently operating within H-E-B.

Eight clinics are slated to open across the Houston, Austin and San Antonio markets by the end of January. The three new San Antonio clinics will operate in affiliation with Methodist Healthcare System, San Antonio.

"Our Houston- and Austin-area RediClinics already have served more than [a] half-million satisfied patients," stated Web Golinkin, RediClinic’s CEO. "We look forward to responding to Texans’ growing need for access to primary and preventive health care by increasing our capacity in Houston and Austin, and by bringing our unique model of accessible and affordable care to San Antonio residents."

RediClinic, which currently operates 21 clinics, partners with healthcare systems in all of its markets. In addition to its new San Antonio affiliation with Methodist Healthcare System, RediClinic is affiliated with Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston and St. David’s HealthCare in Austin.

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Amgen: Xgeva can delay bone weakness, fractures among breast cancer patients

BY Alaric DeArment

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — A drug made by Amgen was able to delay certain bone problems in patients with advanced breast cancer better than a competing drug, according to study results presented at the 33rd annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Amgen said Xgeva (denosumab) was able to delay weakness and fracturing resulting from the cancer spreading to the bones five months longer than Novartis’ Zometa (zoledronic acid).

The Food and Drug Administration approved Xgeva on Nov. 18.

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