Scientists are developing a new safe, effective diabetes drug that could end painful insulin jabs. Researchers led by the University of Adelaide have shown how potential anti-diabetic drugs interact with their target in the body at the molecular level.
The new potential drugs have a completely different action than the most commonly prescribed anti-diabetic, Metformin, which acts on the liver to reduce glucose production. They target a protein receptor known as PPARgamma found in fat tissue throughout the body, either fully or partially activating it in order to lower blood sugar by increasing sensitivity to insulin and changing the metabolism of fat and sugar.
“Type two diabetes is characterised by resistance to insulin with subsequent high blood sugar which leads to serious disease. It is usually associated with poor lifestyle factors such as diet and lack of exercise,” said John Bruning, from University of Adelaide.
“People with severe diabetes need to take insulin but having to inject this can be problematic, and it’s difficult to get insulin levels just right,” said Bruning.