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2012 profiles: OMRF team working on better treatments, lower costs

The team at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation will work on medical treatments to make costs more economical for patients.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL Published: January 15, 2012

A team of scientists at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is working with treatments that could help patients medically and financially.

“We expect to have a wonderful year of new discoveries,” said Dr. Stephen M. Prescott, OMRF president.

Studies during the last couple of decades on rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis have paid off, he said.

“We are known for developing treatments for these illnesses and we are proud of our advances,” Prescott said.

Another project is taking the blood or skin cells from a diabetic patient and converting them to cells that can treat diabetes, he said.

“That is going to make big strides this year,” Prescott said.

That's the good news for patients suffering from these diseases, but the bad news is the treatments are very expensive, he said. Some of the new treatments can cost several thousand dollars each year. Prescott said he is optimistic the cost will be lowered.

The foundation also is working to find a less expensive treatment that will do the same thing. One way is to create a pill that will mimic what an antibody does, he said.

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