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Gene variant protecting against diabetes ‘holds clue to new therapies’

By Sharon Kingman
Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
LONDON – People carrying one copy of a rare mutant gene are at 65 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a genomewide association study has found. The work suggests that it may be possible one day to develop therapies that target the protein encoded by the gene in question, which is known to play a role in insulin secretion. Kari Stefansson, CEO of Decode Genetics, of Reykjavik, Iceland, told BioWorld Today, “This finding points to a mechanism that could be used to protect against type 2 diabetes – a disease that has reached epidemic proportions in our society and for which we are struggling to find drugs that are both safe and effective.”

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