Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) has teamed up with a university and a knowledge/technology transfer specialist in its home country of Germany to explore the causes of diabetes.

The five-year research collaboration is with the Department of Medicine at the TU Dresden (Technische Universität Dresden/Dresden University of Technology) – building on a earlier BI partnership with the university – and with GWT, a service provider for knowledge and technology transfers that is part of the TUDAG (Technische Universität Dresden AG) Group, a cluster of companies set up by the university as knowledge transfer vehicles.

The aim is to develop new insights into the causes of diabetes and the link between excessive blood glucose and the serious complications of the disease. BI said the collaboration would further strengthen its efforts to translate basic scientific findings into more effective treatments for human disease.

Six initial research projects have been mapped out. They range from examining why insulin-producing beta cells are destroyed to studying the cells and molecules that trigger diabetic complications in areas of the body such as the eyes, the kidneys, the nerves or the skin.