Diabetes -> get a gila ;)
Amylin, Lily Diabetes Drug Reduces Blood Sugars
Sat June 05, 2004 10:02 AM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - An experimental diabetes drug derived from
lizard saliva significantly reduced blood sugar levels in patients who had
not responded to existing treatments, Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Eli
Lilly & Co., the drug's developers, said on Saturday.
The drug reduced blood sugar levels by an average of 1 percent
in patients with Type II, or adult-onset, diabetes, according to results
from late-stage clinical trials presented at the annual meeting of the
American Diabetes Association.
"That's a substantial and statistically significant amount,"
said Dr. David Kendall, an investigator on one of the trials, who said the
drug, exenatide, also helped Type II diabetics lose weight.
Typically, patients on diabetes medications gain weight. Type II
diabetes, which is much more common than the inherited Type I form,
typically begins in adulthood but is increasingly common among children.
Diabetics are unable to produce enough insulin or can't process
their insulin properly, resulting in dangerously high blood-sugar levels,
which can eventually lead to heart disease, blindness and amputations if not
About 40 percent of the 1,400 people in three trials were able
to achieve a blood sugar level of about 7 percent, the level recommended by
the American Diabetes Association.
The companies plan to file an application shortly for U.S.
marketing approval for use of the drug in patients who have failed other
Patients took the drug -- which is derived from the saliva of a
lizard known as the Gila monster that lives in the Arizona desert and eats
just four times a year -- either with metformin, an existing therapy, or
with metformin and sulfonylurea. They were compared with patients taking the
existing therapies and a placebo.
The most common side effect of the drug was nausea.
Patients taking metformin and exenatide lost an average of 2.5
pounds more than the placebo group, while patients taking metformin and
sulfonylurea lost 1.5 pounds.
About 18 million people in the United States have diabetes, or
6.2 percent of the population. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the
Exanatide is the first compound in a new class of drugs called
incretin mimetics which mimic hormones released in the gut in response to
food that help regulate glucose levels.
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