An international team of scientists in collaboration with global
biotechnology leader CSL has successfully prevented the progression
of Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD) in laboratory studies of type 2
diabetes. The findings are an important breakthrough in the field
of diabetes research.
Based on prior work published in Nature in 2010 and 2012, the
researchers investigated a novel therapeutic approach that targets
the transport of fatty acids, or lipids, from the blood into
tissues in order to treat diabetic kidney disease.
Using 2H10, a monoclonal antibody developed by CSL, the
researchers blocked signalling of Vascular Endothelial Growth
Factor B (VEGF-B) - a protein that affects the transport and
storage of lipids in body tissue. Elevated levels of VEGF-B are
found in patients with DKD and it is thought to play an important
role in the development of diabetic nephropathy.
By inhibiting signalling by the VEGF-B protein, the researchers
reduced the accumulation of lipid deposits within the kidney and
moderated the progression of kidney disease in a number of models
of type 2 diabetes. Similar findings were also observed in a
model of type 1 diabetes. Mouse models treated with the 2H10
antibody showed improvements in blood pressure and insulin
Commenting on the findings CSL Senior Vice President of
Research, Dr Andrew Nash, said, "This research addresses an
important area of unmet medical need and could lead to an entirely
new approach to the treatment of type 2 diabetes."
The study's lead researcher, Professor Ulf Eriksson from
Karolinska Institutet, said, "The study reveals some mechanistic
understanding of the disease progression and challenges the
hypothesis that diabetic kidney disease is simply the result of
chronic elevated blood glucose".
It is known that increased use of glucose-lowering agents and
better glycaemic control has not resulted in a reduced prevalence
of DKD, which instead has increased in parallel with diabetes.
The research is a joint effort by an international team led by
Professor Ulf Eriksson from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden,
researchers from Uppsala University, Sweden and scientists from
CSL's research laboratories in Melbourne.
CSL has developed a version of the 2H10 antibody that is
suitable for use in humans (known as CSL346) and will commence
phase 1, first-in-human clinical trials in Australia in 2017. The
trials will focus on proof of biological concept with a view to
unlocking the full therapeutic potential of the molecule.
CSL is a leading global biotherapeutics company
with a dynamic portfolio of life-saving innovations, including
those that treat haemophilia and immune deficiencies, as well as
vaccines to prevent influenza.
Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's
leading medical universities. Karolinska Institutet accounts for
over 40 per cent of the medical academic research conducted in
Sweden and offers the country´s broadest range of education in
medicine and health sciences. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska
Institutet selects the Nobel laureates in Physiology or