Can we Eliminate Insulin Injections for Patients with Type 1 Diabetes?

Open Access
Raised of $25,000 Goal
Ended on 11/22/13
Campaign Ended
  • $835
  • 4%
  • Finished
    on 11/22/13

About This Project

We have a new way to produce a non-insulin oral drug for Type 1 Diabetes. SOGA is a glucose lowering protein produced by the body. Adults with Type 1 Diabetes are SOGA deficient. With your help, we can determine whether an oral drug that restores SOGA in people with Type 1 Diabetes could reduce or eliminate the need for insulin.

Ask the Scientists

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What is the context of this research?


Insulin injections, the only form of therapy for Type 1 Diabetes, do not restore the body to the non-diabetic state.


SOGA is a glucose lowering protein produced in our bodies.

The gene for SOGA is on chromosome 20.

Adult men and women with Type 1 Diabetes have low levels of SOGA compared to adults without diabetes.


Is possible to replace insulin injections with an oral non-insulin drug that stimulates the body to produce more SOGA?

What is the significance of this project?


Imagine a world in which children and adults with Type 1 Diabetes could take an oral drug once a day instead of 4-5 insulin injections and blood tests per day.


The complications of Type 1 Diabetes are attributed to (a) the challenges patients face with insulin therapy and (b) the possibility that insulin therapy does not correct the SOGA deficiency in adults with Type 1 Diabetes.

What are the goals of the project?


Determine if an oral drug could be used instead of insulin to control blood sugar in an animal with Type 1 Diabetes.


SOGA is a protein that lowers glucose and happens to be low in people with Type 1 Diabetes.

Expose liver cells to 2,000 different drug candidates.

Rank drug candidates for their ability to (a) stimulate liver cell production of SOGA, (b) lower liver cell glucose production and (c) safety profile.


Test the most promising drug candidate in an animal with Type 1 Diabetes.


Publish the data on the 2,000 compounds and the effect of the lead drug candidate in an animal with Type 1 Diabetes.


(a) 30-day lab updates for the 6 month project

(b) direct access to Dr. Terry Combs

(c) a copy of the published results


Please wait...

$25,000 will enable the screening of 2,000 drug candidates for their ability to lower glucose.

We are seeking to identify the candidates that lower glucose by correcting the deficiency of SOGA, a glucose lowering protein that is decreased in people with Type 1 diabetes.

This is a similar strategy to lowering blood glucose by correcting the deficiency of insulin.

Lead candidates will be tested in animals with Type 1 Diabetes.

Meet the Team

Terry P. Combs, PhD
Terry P. Combs, PhD

Team Bio

Dr. Combs has been a researcher and a teacher at the best universities and hospitals in the US and Canada.

He has been presenting his findings on how our bodies control blood sugar on the local, national and international stage since 1999.

He has been honored for his contributions to the field by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Endocrine Society and Society for Neuroscience and the European Thyroid Association.

Since 2001, Dr. Combs' reports on the possible causes of diabetes have been cited in over 7,000 articles.

In addition to being a mentor for 36 honors and graduate students, Dr. Combs was a class room teacher for hundreds of students at the University of North Carolina, between 2005 and 2010, delivering over 150 lectures.

Terry P. Combs, PhD

I am interested in whether it is possible to treat Type 1 Diabetes with a non-insulin drug.

I wonder if a drug that corrects the deficiency of SOGA in Type 1 Diabetes could reduce or eliminate the need for insulin therapy.

I am grateful for your support.

Lab Notes

Nothing posted yet.

Additional Information

Online Links for Supporting Material

1) Relevant Publications:

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY: Adiponectin lowers glucose production by increasing SOGA
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY: The physiological deadlock between AMPK and gluconeogenesis: SOGA, a novel protein, may provide the key
US PATENT EP 2438170 A2: Soga polynucleotides and polypeptides and uses thereof

2) Press Mentions:

DIABETES MINE: Insulin’s Little Helper: A New Pill for Type 1 Diabetes?
DIABETES IN CONTROL: New Pill in the Works for Type 1 Patients
DIABETES HEALTH: Type 1 Glucose Production Pill on the Horizon

We are not sitting on a miracle drug. We have a method to develop a non-insulin oral drug for Type 1 Diabetes that could replace insulin.

There are many forces preventing the development of a non-insulin oral drug for Type 1 Diabetes.

Your support is saying:

(a) We should check to see whether Type 1 Diabetes can be treated by correcting the deficiency of a glucose lowering protein other than insulin

(b) I am getting involved with this project and not waiting for others to bring a medical breakthrough to life

(c) It does not make sense to continue to only focus on an insulin centric therapies for Type 1 Diabetes

(d) If this project succeeds, I expect progress towards the production of an oral drug for Type 1 Diabetes to move cheaply, swiftly and ethically

Project Backers

  • 12Backers
  • 4%Funded
  • $835Total Donations
  • $69.58Average Donation
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