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Indian scientists claim cure for diabetes
January 07, 2004 12:12 IST
Indian scientists claimed to have developed a drug as a 'cure' to diabetes from a plant found in West Bengal's Purulia hills.
"The drug – 'ICB201' -- has been derived from a plant after it was noticed that people in Purulia hills used it in case of diabetic problems," Dr S Bhattacharya of Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, said.
Bhattacharya was delivering the B C Guha Memorial Award Lecture on 'Confronting Diabetic Type II: A global Epidemic' in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Asserting that earlier there was 'practically no drug to treat the Type II diabetes', he said, "'ICB201' acts by lowering the fatty acid levels in blood. Higher levels of fatty acids in blood diminish activity of insulin which causes diabetes."
The Phase I toxicity studies on mice have been carried out and the data would be submitted to concerned authorities. Phase II studies would start in about two-three months and the drug is likely to hit the market in next two to three years, Bhattacharya said.
Pointing out that patents were being filed for the 'invention', he said work on the medicine started four years back. However, he refused to reveal the name of the plant.
Bhattacharya said, "It is now being realised that more than glucose, it is the levels of fatty acids which play more important role in diabetes. The disease was being found even in thin people. In fact it was shown in animals that if fat is removed, diabetes manifests and if fat is replaced, diabetes disappears."
It happens because fat cells take fatty acids from circulation thus lowering their levels, he said.
"While in Type I, there is deficiency of insulin, Type II is independent of insulin. However, in both the types, levels of glucose rise in the blood," he said.
In Type II diabetes, the insulin, though present, is unable to act, thereby leading to enhanced glucose levels, he said. "Currently both the disease types are treated by giving insulin to the patients which actually can do harm."
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