By Phin Upham
Diabetics have a complicated life. Type 1 diabetes makes it difficult for a patient to produce insulin due to problems with the person’s pancreas. Type 2 diabetes creates a resistance to insulin, usually through a patient’s poor diet and lack of exercise. Both present serious complications, but patients train themselves to inject insulin and check their blood periodically. That process, as anyone with diabetes will tell you, tends to get physically and mentally exhausting after a while. Fortunately, there are new breakthroughs on the horizon that could fix some of these challenges and make it possible for diabetic patients to go back to a normal lifestyle.
Scientists currently estimate that we’ll have cured diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, within 20 years. They say it could happen in as little as three to five after the medical breakthroughs that have occurred with stem cells.
The problem is insulin production, but stem cells could be engineered to produce insulin as needed. The only other challenge is getting those stem cells to cooperate with the rest of the body. Type 2 diabetes is something that can be cured through diet and exercise, but this is a huge benefit for patients of both types. Unfortunately, it also means those patients will likely take immunosuppressants for the rest of their life so the body does not reject the stem cells.
Clinical trials on non-human subjects are looking promising, and the stem cells are doing their duty months after the transplants are over. For serious complications related to diabetes, this procedure could make major steps forward.
About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.