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Study: Genetic variants associated with Type 2 diabetes found among South Asians

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON — A new study has identified six new genetic variants associated with Type 2 diabetes among South Asians.

An international teams of researchers, led by Imperial College London, noted that genetic factors have been "widely considered to play a role in the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes," and elected to examine the DNA of 18,731 people originating from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) with Type 2 diabetes and 39,856 healthy controls. The genomes of the participants were analyzed to look for locations where variations were more common in those with diabetes. The results identified six positions where differences of a single letter in the genetic code were associated with Type 2 diabetes, suggesting that nearby genes have a role in the disease.

"Type 2 diabetes is more common in South Asian populations than any other ethnic group, but the reason for this increased risk is unclear," senior study author from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London John Chambers said. "Although lifestyle factors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and obesity are important causes of diabetes in South Asians, these are only part of the explanation. Our study identifies six new genetic variants linked to Type 2 diabetes in South Asians. Our findings give important new insight into the genes underlying of diabetes in this population, which in the long term might lead to new treatments to prevent diabetes," Chambers said.

The research was published in Nature Genetics.

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Dr. Reddy’s to field Allegra-D store-brand equivalent

BY Michael Johnsen

HYDERABAD, India — Dr. Reddy’s Labs on Tuesday announced that it has launched its over-the-counter fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine extended-release tablets.

Dr. Reddy’s will market the product, the equivalent to Allegra-D 24 Hour, under store-brand labels in the U.S. market, the company stated.

Quarterly sales of Allegra-D totaled $13.5 million for the 12 weeks ended Aug. 7, according to SymphonyIRI Group tabulating sales across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart) outlets.

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Eisai drug shows ‘significant’ reduction in epileptic seizures

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — A drug under late-stage clinical development by Eisai reduced the frequency of seizures in patients with epilepsy, according to trial results the drug maker presented Tuesday at the 2011 International Epilepsy Congress.

In a 389-patient phase-3 study of the drug perampanel, patients with partial-onset seizures who took the drug in 8-mg and 12-mg doses showed statistically significant reductions in median seizure frequency compared with those who took the placebo while receiving treatment with one to three other epilepsy drugs. The study, dubbed "Study 305," was the third in a phase-3 trial program that enrolled a total of 1,480 patients worldwide.

In the study, 14.7% of patients taking the placebo showed a reduction in seizure frequency by 50% or more, compared with 33.3% of patients taking perampanel in the 8-mg strength and 33.9% of those taking the 12-mg strength. Also, while patients in the placebo group showed a reduction in median seizure frequency of 9.7%, those taking perampanel in the 8-mg strength once per day showed a reduction of 30.5%, while those taking it the 12-mg strength once daily showed a 17.6% reduction.

"This third phase-3 study demonstrated the statistical significance and clinical efficacy of perampanel for reducing partial-onset seizures among epilepsy patients," Eisai Neuroscience Product Creation Unit president Lynn Kramer said. "Eisai is committed to developing new therapies that can offer seizure control and address unmet medical needs, as part of our [human healthcare] corporate mission."

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