Aucklanders needed for diabetes treatment trial

04 August 2015
Rinki Murphy
Dr Rinki Murphy

Volunteers are needed to join eight others as some of the first patients to undergo a novel treatment for type2 diabetes.

Earlier this year, patients in Auckland and Dunedin were the first in the world to have a novel treatment for type2 diabetes.  The trial is now looking for another 20 participants for the study over the next 12 months.

The COMPLEMENT trial is a first-in-human study of Metabolic Neuromodulation Therapy (MNT) and is being conducted exclusively in New Zealand.

Diabetes physician and University of Auckland senior lecturer, Dr Rinki Murphy, says MNT for type2 diabetes involves a single catheter-based procedure designed to change the nerve signals to the liver and other organs to improve blood sugars to more normal levels.

“Nearly half of patients with type2 diabetes are unable to adequately control their blood sugars despite multiple medication options, and are at risk of significant and costly complications,” she says.  “New treatments for type2 diabetes are critically needed given that type2 diabetes has reached near-epidemic proportions here in New Zealand, and globally.”

The COMPLEMENT Study aims to investigate whether a new, single-time procedure designed to deliver radiofrequency energy to the walls of the hepatic artery is safe and effective in the treatment of type2 diabetes using a medical device called the Metabolic Neuromodulation System.

Treatment with the catheter device, similar to what is used for many cardiovascular procedures, involves passing a flexible tube through the femoral artery in the right groin into the artery that leads to the liver.

Radiofrequency energy is then passed through the end of the catheter into the wall of one of the liver arteries to disrupt the nerves that lead to the liver.  Previous research has shown that disrupting these nerves may lead to a lowering of blood sugar levels, which may help to achieve better diabetic control.

The main risks of the procedure are believed to be similar to the risks of other common procedures requiring catheterisation of arteries, such as injury to the liver artery, kidney damage, clotting in the arteries, or bleeding.

People aged 18-70 who have blood sugar (A1C) above 58 mmol/mol and are on an oral glucose lowering medicine called metformin are potential candidates for the trial.    Interested people should contact one of the study coordinators at the centers listed below.

The COMPLEMENT Study is being led by expert endocrinologists and cardiologists: Dr Rinki Murphy and Professor Mark Webster at Auckland City Hospital, Dr Brandon Orr-Walker and Dr Wil Harrison at Middlemore Hospital, Professor Russell Scott and Dr James Blake at Christchurch Hospital, and Professor Patrick Manning and Professor Gerry Wilkins at Dunedin Hospital.

For more information on how to take part, please contact study co-ordinator Jan Burd at Auckland City hospital on (09) 307 4949, extension 24365 or email: JBurd@adhb.govt.nz.

  • Metavention is an American medical device company, based in California founded in 2012 with the purpose of developing novel therapies for the treatment of diabetes and other metabolic conditions.  The Metavention team is comprised of physicians, engineers and scientists with deep experience in the medical device field and is supported by venture capital investors and life sciences industry companies.  

 

  • What is Type 2 diabetes – Why is it important?  Type2 diabetes is a condition in which people have high blood sugar levels.  Uncontrolled type2 diabetes and high blood sugar levels for long periods of time can lead to complications affecting many body organs.  The result is an increased risk of blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, and heart diseases such as stroke and heart attack.  Even with lifestyle changes and medication, some people with type2 diabetes are still unable to reduce their blood sugar to acceptable levels.   Almost half of all type2 patients are able to maintain proper glucose control.
  • Type-2 Diabetes is a critical health issue that has reached epidemic levels globally.  According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, there were 243,000 residents living with diabetes in 2013, growing 7.2 percent on average per year since 2005 (2013 Virtual Diabetes Register (VDR). 

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