New Development May Make Exenatide Diabetes Drug Last Longer

Research says that changing the delivery system and a protein in the drug exenatide could make it more stable and decrease the frequency of required injections. Exenatide, one of the most-used drugs to treat diabetes, could become more convenient as well. New research conducted on rodents finds that the tweaks made to the drug may prolong its effectiveness.

A paper published in the journal of the American Chemical Society outlines the changes and says that these could move injections from weekly to monthly for many patients.

Exenatide, inspired by Gila monster spit, is a widely-used glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) for diabetes.

The drug is also being researched as a treatment for Parkinson's disease and is known to lower appetite, leading to weight loss in many patients. The changes being made to the drug in these latest experiments are simple.

Exenatide works by stimulating insulin secretion by triggering receptors for glucagon in the body. This stimulates insulin secretion which, in turn, lowers excess glucose.

Researchers took the compound for Exenatide and changed its amino acid and attached that to hydrogel micoscpheres. This causes the drug to release itself more slowly into the patient's blood stream, moderating its effects for a longer period.

The idea came about as researchers worked to find a longer-lasting diabetic injection. Pharmaceutical chemist Daniel V. Santi at the University of California, San Francisco, known for his use of pH-dependent hydrogel microspheres, first tried doing just that. When it only extended the life of exenatide by a few days, they discovered that the compound's two-amino acid sequence was breaking down more quickly than anticipated. Changing the asparagine acid to glutamine, the structure was stabilized and lasted up to six months on the shelf and a month in a diabetic rat.

The research team is working to move the new version of exenatide into clinical testing soon.

Source: cen.acs.org

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