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Therapie. 2007 Jul-Aug;62(4):293-310. Epub 2007 Nov 6.

Newly approved and promising antidiabetic agents.

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Institut de Recherches Servier, Suresnes, France.


Type 2 diabetes is an endocrine/metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia. It is now well established that insulin resistance and pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction/failure are the two major components of the physiopathology of the disease. Current available therapies do not successfully enable patients with type 2 diabetes to reach glycemic goals. Even with intensive treatment type 2 diabetic patients may face spikes in blood glucose after meals, weight gain, and a loss of effectiveness of their treatments over time. The novel agents recently developed by the Pharmaceutical Industry may either provide an alternative therapeutic strategy or offer useful adjuncts to existing therapies. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), produced in the small intestine and amylin, produced by beta cells in the pancreas, also have glucose lowering effects. Amylin is an hormone secreted after a meal, having a complementary action to insulin. GLP-1, also released in a post-prandial manner, promotes insulin production and secretion, reduces glucagon secretion, delays gastric emptying and induces a feeling of fullness. The most promising effect of GLP-1 is its ability to increase beta-cell mass by stimulating neogenesis and reducing apoptosis in rodents. However the fact that GLP-1 is rapidly degraded by dipeptidylpeptidase IV (DPPIV) in vivo reduces its usefulness. Thus, in order to improve therapeutic efficacy, two approaches have been investigated: the development of GLP-1 analogs resistant to degradation or the development of DPP-IV inhibitors. Synthetic analogs of amylin (pramlintide), GLP-1 (exenatide) and inhibitors of the degradation of GLP-1 (sitagliptin, DPP-IV inhibitor) are now available for clinical use. Promising biological targets being investigated include those leading to insulin sensitization (11beta-HSD-1 inhibitors and antagonists of glucocorticoids receptor), reducing hepatic glucose output (antagonist of glucagon receptor, inhibitors of glycogen phosphorylase and fructose-1,6-biphosphatase) and finally increasing urinary elimination of excess glucose (SGLT inhibitors). A particular role is played by glucokinase activators (GKA) which can both increase insulin secretion and improve hepatic glucose metabolism. In this review, we present a summary of the data available on newly approved treatments (amylin and GLP-1 analogs as well as DPP-IV inhibitors) and give an overview of the targets currently being studied for the treatment of type 2 diabetes with an emphasis on the small molecule drug design.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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