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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2011 Oct;13 Suppl 1:158-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2011.01457.x.

The future of incretin-based therapy: novel avenues--novel targets.

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Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


Incretin-based therapy for type 2 diabetes is based on the antidiabetic effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and instituted by GLP-1 receptor agonists and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors targeting the key islet defects of the disease. The treatment is clinically efficient and safe, and associated with a low risk of adverse events. It can be used both in early and late stages of the disease and both as monotherapy and add-on to other therapies. Current research on the future of incretin-based therapy focuses on optimizing its place in diabetes treatment and examines its potential in type 1 diabetes, in subjects with obesity without type 2 diabetes and in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders. Other studies aim at prolonging the duration of action of the GLP-1 receptor agonists to allow weekly administration, and to develop orally GLP-1 receptor agonists. Furthermore, other investigators focus on stimulation of GLP-1 secretion by activating GLP-1-producing L-cells or using gene therapy. Finally, also other gastro-entero-pancreatic bioactive peptides are potential targets for drug development as are synthetic peptides engineered as co-agonists stimulating more than one receptor. We can therefore expect a dynamic development within this field in the coming years.

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