Are you a Health Professional? Jump over to the doctors only platform. Click Here

Licking diabetes with lizard spit?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

An experimental drug that suppresses the appetite and causes a reduction in high levels of sugar in the blood may be the next big thing in treatment for people with the most common form of diabetes, studies presented Sunday suggest.

An experimental drug that suppresses the appetite and causes a reduction in high levels of sugar in the blood may be the next big thing in treatment for people with the most common form of diabetes, studies presented Sunday suggest. The drug exenatide, a man-made version of a hormone found in the saliva of Gila monsters, reduced high blood sugar levels and led to weight loss in tests on more than 1,000 people whose type 2 diabetes was not being controlled by current drugs, researchers reported at a meeting here of the American Diabetes Association. In two 30-week studies in which patients were given two different doses of the drug, those who got the highest dose had the greatest reduction in blood sugars and an average weight loss of 6.3 pounds. The benefits were sustained in patients who decided to continue taking the drug for a full year.In a third study, exenatide improved the ability of cells in the pancreas to pump out insulin in response to the blast of sugar that enters the blood after meals, researchers said.Given by injection at breakfast and dinner, the exenatide acts when blood sugars are too high but not when they’re in the normal range, reducing the risk of a dangerous plunge in blood sugars called hypoglycemia. Developed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, exenatide is a synthetic version of a hormone in the saliva of Gila monsters, a lizard that eats only four times a year. When it eats, it secretes the hormone, similar to GLP-1 in humans, to activate insulin production in the pancreas. Exenatide is the furthest along in development of several drugs that focus on GLP-1, an intestinal hormone that is released after a meal. The drug will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration this summer and, if approved, could be available next year.Novartis won’t be seeking FDA approval for LAF237 until 2006.(Source: USA Today Health News, June 2004)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Dates

Posted On: 7 June, 2004
Modified On: 4 December, 2013

Tags



Created by: myVMC