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CU Researcher Developing Game Changing Diabetes Drug

AURORA, Colo (CBS4) - Researchers at the University of Colorado are hoping to start clinical trials on a drug that they hope will reverse Type 1 diabetes in some patients.

"My group for about ten years has been studying a specific molecular interaction that drives inflammation leading to loss of insulin production," said David Wagner, an associate professor in the CU School of Medicine.

LINK: Dr. David Wagner's Laboratory

Wagner and his team, with funding from the American Diabetes Association, have developed a drug that may stop the immune system from attacking insulin producing cells in the pancreas.

"What this drug does is simply redirect the cell, so it's no longer attacking the pancreas. It's just sitting around waiting hopefully for something like a virus," Wagner explained

Diabetes Drug 1
(credit CBS)

The hope is that by stopping the attack, the body may have a chance at producing insulin again.

"So we can get insulin restoration to the point of no blood sticks per day and carb-counting can go out the window too," Wagner explained.

Kelsey Winger's life is dominated by blood sticks and carb-counting. She's had Type 1 diabetes for the last 10 years.

"Diabetes is an every minute of every day disease," Winger told CBS4.

Winger's diagnosis changed the trajectory of her life. She became a nurse. She's an avid fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association, and she volunteers as medical staff for the ADA's Camp Colorado.

Kelsey tour 2
(credit Kelsey Wagner)

"Diabetes impacts everything that I do, every decision I make," Winger explained.

She wishes for a day when she can relax around her diabetes diagnosis. A day that may be on the horizon as Wagner's drug moved through the study process.

"That would be amazing. Amazing! I don't know what I'd do in a day that I didn't have to manage my diabetes," Winger said.

LINK: American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure

You can support the American Diabetes Association by signing up to ride, run or walk in the 2018 Tour de Cure. It's coming up on September 8th at Salisbury Park in Parker.

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