Challenges of Future Therapy
Since current Diabetes therapies help to control blood glucose levels but do not affect pancreatic beta-cell function, the goal of the IMIDIA initiative is to identify novel paths for the regeneration, maintenance and protection of insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells, as these processes are fundamental to curing or delaying the progression of the underlying disease.
Although a large body of knowledge has been gained on the function of beta-cells from animal models, knowledge on human beta-cell function, survival, and the pathomechanisms that lead to their demise are still scarce.
The prediction and prevention of pancreatic beta-cell demise as well the regeneration of normal beta-cells mass and function is the key to this new approach of Diabetes treatment. Therefore, the identification of novel tools, biomarkers and fundamental knowledge on human beta-cell organization may lead to improved management of Diabetes that prevents, ameliorates and reverses Diabetes and may allow the discontinuation of insulin treatment.
These novel approaches will apply to both, newly diagnosed type 1 and longstanding Diabetes, as well as to type 2 Diabetes patients, who require insulin supplement.