For the last 53 years, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) has convened with the world’s leading experts to explore research and therapies for diabetes and diabetes-related diseases. EASD aims to share findings for the purpose of “the rapid diffusion of acquired knowledge and to facilitate its application.”
From September 11th-15th, over 15,000 delegates congregated in Lisbon, Portugal for this year’s meeting to hear lectures, award and receive prizes, and attend poster events. Event highlights ranged from cutting-edge software for glucose management to studies on the relationship between a swine flu outbreak and type 1 diabetes.
We’ve collected some of the key takeaways from EASD 2017 regarding diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
There was a number of announcements pertaining specifically to type 2 diabetes (T2D), concerning studies, clinical trials, and even a competition.
A study conducted by the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) found that in married heterosexual couples, husbands over 50 years old whose wives were overweight had an increased likelihood that they would develop T2D, but the inverse is not true. They also revealed that heterosexual married couples, in which one spouse had T2D, were likely to weigh more than couples who did not suffer type 2 diabetes.
Fractyl Laboratories reported their impressive new treatment for T2D, Revita-1, boasted positive outcomes in clinical trials. A year long study on Revita-1’s impact on patients with diabetes concluded that a Revita procedure improved glucose levels and HbA1c results. The minimally invasive procedure takes under one hour and targets the duodenum to change how it processes the sugar the patient has ingested and minimizes insulin resistance.
Ascensia Diabetes Care announced that they were launching a new innovation competition- the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge- to award cutting-edge digital solutions which better diabetes management and quality of life. The winner and runner-up will split a near $250,000 prize for innovative solutions which address the epidemic of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) was also the subject of many interesting findings and therapy improvements.
Glytec announced their Glucommander software successfully controlled glucose and bettered long term hbA1C outcomes. The Glucommander is calibrated to patients’ unique needs, and adjusted as needed. The software collects patient data to analyze glucose measurements and suggest improvements.
Novo Nordisk’s Fiasp insulin showed similar results. They presented data on the fast-acting insulin aspart in a year-long study which compared the therapy against a traditional aspart. The speed at which it takes this new generation of insulin to act is exciting for patients who need to quickly reduce elevated blood sugars.
One study presented at EASD found that mini-doses of glucagon delivered before exercise was a more effective method for deterring hypoglycemic events than simply reducing insulin. Glucagon rescue is traditionally used to treat severe hypoglycemia. By injecting a small dose of glucagon- which signals to the body to release stored sugar into the bloodstream- those kinds of severe episodes can be avoided.
In a much different study, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Oslo University Hospital
presented findings which tied a Norwegian swine flu outbreak in 2009 to an increased chance of developing type 1 diabetes. The researchers do not yet understand why the outbreak begets an increased risk for T1D, just that the correlation exists.
We look forward to seeing what other impressive discoveries are unveiled at EASD 2018 to impact the lives of people affected by diabetes.