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Artificial Pancreas Being Tested by Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Expert

David Klonoff, M.D., Medical Director, Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Research Institute

Diabetes researchers are closer than ever to creating an artificial pancreas, something that the Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Research Institute is currently working on. Nature, an international weekly journal of science news , published a story entitled “Medical devices: Managed by Machine” about this cutting-edge work in its May 16 issue.

The article reports on the promise of artificial pancreases in the management of type 1 diabetes and quotes David Klonoff, M.D., an endocrinologist and the medical director of the Diabetes Research Institute at Mills-Peninsula Health Services in San Mateo, Calif.

According to Nature, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified the artificial pancreas as a top priority and, together with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), formed the Interagency Artificial Pancreas Working Group to identify and work through any clinical and scientific challenges. Meanwhile, government funding bodies in the United States and Europe, as well as many medical device companies, started spending tens of millions of dollars to encourage the development of an artificial pancreas.

Dr. Klonoff has been an advisor to the FDA while this agency has been developing policies for regulating this complicated device, and an advisor to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which raises funds to support research for this technology. Dr. Klonoff was one of 150 scientists and clinicians recently asked by the NIH to contribute to the agency’s 10-year diabetes strategic planning report to identify where to allocate scientific expertise, tools, technologies and shared resources over the next decade – including aiming for the development of an artificial pancreas.

Research on an artificial pancreas device is underway at several hospitals around the country and the world, including Mills-Peninsula. Dr. Klonoff has been involved in in-hospital trials of the investigational device,  Paradigm Veo. This artificial pancreas type of device, manufactured by Medtronic, is the first product to – without patient input – automatically deliver a correct dose of insulin in response to the patient’s changing glucose levels. Dr. Klonoff  is  the national Principal Investigator of the first U.S. multicenter outpatient trial of the Paradigm Veo.

“At the Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Research Institute, we are currently recruiting subjects with type 1 diabetes who want to enroll in a clinical trial of the first artificial pancreas device. This product is currently not approved by FDA, and the data we collect will be studied by that agency,” said Dr. Klonoff.

“Collaboration between the Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Research Institute and Medtronic can help realize the goal of a functional artificial pancreas, an achievement that could transform the lives of millions of people living with diabetes,” said Dr. Klonoff.

Presentation at American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions

Dr. Klonoff was a co-author of a research abstract on this device, which was selected for oral presentation at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 72nd Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, June 8-12, 2012.  The presentation was entitled “The Order Effect of the In-Clinic ASPIRE Study: Hypoglycemia Begets Hypoglycemia.”

Three of Dr. Klonoff’s other research studies, which were on technologies for improving insulin delivery following injections, were selected for poster presentations at this meeting. One of them, entitled “Accelerating Rapid Acting Insulin Analogs Pharmacokinetic Profile by Using CSII with the InsuPatch Device,” was selected by Diabetes Conference Companion as being in the top 4 percent of research posters at the meeting. The InsuPatch Device, made by a company in Israel called Insuline, applies gentle heat to the skin following an insulin injection, which speeds up absorption and activity of the insulin.

Dr. Klonoff and the Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Research Coordinator, Irina Nayberg, R.N., CDE, who also attended the meeting, and was a co-author of the study and poster, were interviewed in Philadelphia about this research project

“For those of us involved in diabetes research and the delivery of diabetes care, the American Diabetes Association Meeting is an exceptional opportunity to gather and share cutting-edge information. This conference is energizing because 13,000 highly motivated physicians, scientists and other health care professionals come together with a compelling common ambition – to improve diabetes care,” said Dr. Klonoff, who added, “Developing better tools to help people with diabetes is our goal at the Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Research Institute.”

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