The Drug Discovery Research Centre (DDRC), a niche Centre of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, and Revelations Biotech Pvt. Ltd. (RBPL), a Hyderabad based Research and Development Company have entered into a research collaboration to develop new approaches for diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.
The DDRC-RBPL collaboration will focus on addressing these needs through two separate programs. The goal of one of these programs is to develop a data based software package that will not only identify individuals/youth who are becoming susceptible to diabetes, but also predict future course of disease in those who are already diabetic. It is anticipated that the advance warning provided by such a system will allow the target individuals to pre-emptively make the appropriate lifestyle alterations so as to mitigate disease development, and prevent its progression. The second program is to develop a new drug that will prevent re-absorption of glucose in the kidneys. This re-absorption process contributes to maintaining the high glycemic levels in diabetics. Inhibition of this process by an effective drug therefore will lead to a significant lowering of the blood glucose level.
India today stands out as the diabetic capital of the world, and the continuing increase in incidence of this disease is cause for serious concern. The annual expenditure for diabetes treatment in India is to the tune of Rs. 1.5 lakh crores. Diabetes is a chronic progressive metabolic disorder of multiple etiologies that is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia with disturbances of carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. Although previously thought to represent a problem of ‘middle-age’ the alarming trend seen in recent years is a rapid rise in incidence of this disease in the younger population. This is largely due to lifestyle changes where a high calorie diet is coupled with sedentary habits. Importantly, the expanding dimension of this disease emphasizes the urgent need for more sensitive methods for detection, and also for more effective regimens for treatment.