the sheet blog

Archive for July, 2009

Diabetes: Past, Present, Future

July 27th, 2009

Diabetes is one of man’s oldest known diseases, having been first described in Ancient Egypt in the Ebers papyrus. However treatment of diabetes only changed in the 20th century. Prior to 1922, the best treatment for Type 1 diabetes was the Allen diet. – an extremely low-carbohydrate and low-calorie diet. The quality of life associated with this unsustainable therapy was poor and adherence only prolonged life for weeks in most cases. Dr. Allen commented that patients were rarely compliant with this diet, often smuggling in a piece of bread. Pictures of the patients from this time reveal severe wasting, only now seen in concentration camp victims and during severe famines.

Guest Essays
2 Comments »

Prospects in Diabetes Therapy (circa 1980)

July 27th, 2009

To misquote Dave Eggars, “Prospects in Diabetes Therapy” is a heartwarming work of staggering genius. I was young, living in New York, working at a smart investment banking firm called F. Eberstadt & Co. (which, weirdly, had taken my father’s company public during the depression), and living in the delightful wide-open space of having become the first investment analyst of a new and hot industry, biotechnology. I remember my boss, Dick Emmitt, told me the company liked my initial work, and now I could pick my own topic for a report. I had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes less then two years previous. I told him I wanted to find out the future of diabetes therapy. He liked it – no one had investigated investment opportunities in the diabetes industry – and I was given a few months to do the research.

Scott's Opinion
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Potential Problems with Abdominal Site?

July 9th, 2009

If the insertion of the encapsulation into the abdomen has to be repeated every few years, have you considered the problem of scarring and surgical adhesions from these repeated procedures? The abdomen is not a paper bag that you can cut open and tape up indefinitely without consequences.

The Marat/King Dialogues
3 Comments »

The cost of pig Islets: Too High?

July 9th, 2009

With respect to the cost, how much of this comes from the supposed need to raise the pigs used for the islet cells in sterile conditions? In European fresh cell treatment centers, patients…

The Marat/King Dialogues
5 Comments »

Is a price of $100,000 cost effective?

July 9th, 2009

Encapsulations will certainly never be cost-effective if they cost $100,000 each, as LCT estimates, if they have to be replaced every two years, and if they are not 100% effective even while they do work.

The Marat/King Dialogues
8 Comments »

LCT Microcapsules will be Available Soon; Islet Sheet Obsolete?

July 9th, 2009

You report that clinical studies in humans are expected to begin for your work in 2013, but you must have noticed that LCT is already claiming that it will be ready to offer its product on a commercial basis in 18 months.

The Marat/King Dialogues
3 Comments »