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GEN News Highlights : Mar 22, 2010

JDRF, Pfizer, Hadassah Medical, and The Hebrew University Forge Type 1 Diabetes Pact

Aim is to characterize Pfizer preclinical candidates for beta-cell replication and regeneration.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Pfizer are funding a research collaboration with Hadassah Medical Organization and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem to develop drugs that replicate and regenerate insulin-producing cells in people with type 1 diabetes.

The program will be led by Benjamin Glaser, M.D., professor of endocrinology at Hadassah Medical, and Yuval Dor, Ph.D., at The Hebrew University, and will involve scientists from Pfizer PharmaTherapeutics Research & Development. The team will focus on the preclinical evaluation of certain Pfizer compounds as candidates to promote beta-cell replication and regeneration.

The collaboration aims to provide a comprehensive biological characterization of these molecules' potential beneficial effect on beta-cell health and survival, building on beta-cell regeneration models created by Dr. Dor and funded in part by JDRF.

“Ben Glaser and myself have put considerable efforts in recent years into understanding the basic mechanisms by which the total number of beta cells in healthy adult organisms is regulated and what triggers the formation of new beta cells when demand exceeds supply,” says Dr. Dor. “With this new project we are given a chance to examine if our insights can be utilized, using clinically relevant drugs supplied by Pfizer, for boosting beta-cell mass in healthy and diabetic mice.”