Diabetes: Is A Cure On The Horizon?
Six rhesus monkeys playing with their toys at the University of Miami are the great hairy hopes of diabetes. In a major advance announced in June, the monkeys were essentially cured of the disease after receiving transplants of islet cells, the insulin-producing components of the pancreas. The key was an experimental antirejection drug called anti-CD154. This bioengineered antibody, made by Biogen Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., is far less toxic than immunosuppressants taken for other types of organ transplants. A year after the transplant, the monkeys no longer needed insulin injections or the antirejection drug.
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