New Diabetes Drug That Targets Sweet Receptors in the Gut

New Diabetes Drug That Targets Sweet Receptors in the Gut

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on May 20, 2014, at 9:49 pm


NEW AND RATHER VALUABLE INFORMATION has been discovered at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia the human intestines and pancreas can taste sugar, just like our tongues. Sweetness receptors have been found that sense glucose and fructose in our gut.

This information led to the development of a new drug by scientists at a pharmaceutical company in San Diego, called Elcelyx Therapeutics. This drug is presently in the phase II clinical trials and is a modified form of metformin. Metformin is a drug that dissolves in the stomach and travels via the blood to the liver and then to the pancreas.

For patients with type 2 diabetes, there are high odds that they will be treated with metformin, as it is the most commonly prescribed drug for that particular disease. Scientists designed this new version of metformin, NewMet, to dissolve only when it reaches the pH in the gut. Here, it fills up the sweet receptors, which in turn causes them to tell the pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormonal regulator for blood sugar levels. Alain Baron, CEO and president of Elcelyx, says that they’re “modulating a natural signal”.

According to the phase I clinical trial results, NewMet is half the usual dose as metformin, yet equally effective due to its direct route. In addition, there is a significant 70% reduction in the amount of the drug that enters the bloodstream, decreasing the risk of long term drug build-up. A little less than half of type 2 diabetes patients have kidney disease, and this accumulation in the bloodstream prevents those people from being able to take the drug due to their kidney’s lethal inability to filter the drug out.

Other new ideas are branching off of the NewMet development. An example of this is a drug in making that aids in weight-loss by targeting the lower intestines and signalling fullness. Many new drugs and treatments of all sorts may potentially follow in the footsteps of Elcelyx.

To read the full article, please visit Scientific American

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

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