The Use of Transgenic Plants and the Chloroplasts of Green Algae to Produce Low-cost Oral Therapeutics for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious, common and chronic health problem. In Canada, more than 2 million Canadians are living with diabetes today. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes that accounts for approximately 90% of diabetes cases. The cost of diabetes care is almost 4 times as much as for someone without diabetes. The Canadian Diabetes Association estimates that the total cost of diabetes will continue to escalate and could reach $15.6 billion by 2010 unless dramatic actions are taken. The presently available medicines, including insulin as well as those commonly used insulin-sensitizing drugs such as sulfonylureas and metformin, have limited success in controlling blood glucose levels. The goal of the proposed project is to develop novel, low-cost oral anti-diabetic agents using genetically engineered plants as well as the photosynthetic organelle chloroplasts in algal cells. Results of this research will benefit Plantigen by broadening the company's product portfolio, strengthening the position of the company's intellectual property and helping the company to attract new investment opportunities.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Norman P.A. Huner


Xiaofeng Wang


Plantigen Inc.






Western University



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