Israeli companies are tackling medical issues that are impacting people across the world, and diabetes is one of the key areas that these companies are tackling. Improved approaches, treatments and management are helping these companies transform diabetes across the world.
A chronic disease of the pancreas, diabetes occurs when a person cannot make enough insulin to regulate their blood sugar.
Worldwide, over 415 million people worldwide suffered from diabetes.
It’s an epidemic, and it has led to higher rates of kidney failure, amputation, blindness, heart disease and even stroke.
Betalin Therapeutics, a startup, is leading the way for diabetic treatment advancement. The company, still a relatively young company, has been able to cure type-1 diabetes in mice. And while the transition from mice to humans is drastically different, the company hopes that they’ll be able to one day cure humans of diabetes.
The key is in the approach the company takes.
All of the mice in the trial were in advanced stages of diabetes when they were cured, and type-1 is known as an autoimmune disease. What this form of diabetes does is destroy the pancreas, making it so that the pancreas cannot secrete insulin. Chronic in nature, this form of diabetes requires lifelong insulin shots.
What the company has chosen to do is unlike anything others have tried – they implant microscopic pancreata into the mice. Lab-built, these whole micro-pancreases are able to control glucose levels unlike other transplant techniques where the cells die quickly.
Mice were cured for as long as three months, and the testing showed that with the micro-pancreas, the mice died.
Created in the lab, these microscopic organs are not large enough to sustain a full human, but using multiple implants together will be able to make this form of treatment effective in humans, too.
Startups are also working on ways to tackle some of the issues that diabetics face, such as foot-related issues. “Smart Socks” are a Hebrew technology that has been developed along with the help of foot specialists to save diabetics’ feet.
Diabetic neuropathy impacts millions of people worldwide, causing people to suffer from nerve ending damage where sensitivity is lost. The legs and feet are the most common areas where this issue presents, and this leads a lot of people injuring themselves without realizing it.
SenseGo’s socks could help solve this issue, and this is done through what’s called a “sensor assist” for the foot.
Foot ulcers are prevented thanks to these socks, and this allows for a drastic drop in diabetic health care costs and amputation. Dozens of sensors are built into the socks to help monitor foot-related issues that diabetics suffer from. The socks also connect to apps, alerting the person that they may have risks of certain conditions.
Washable, these socks are one-of-a-kind, and they have the potential to help diabetics worldwide. It’s possible to offer healthier feet to the patient, controlling many of the foot issues that they suffer from.
Israel’s startups continue to tackle the diabetes epidemic, and it will be interesting to see what new developments are found in the coming year.