In a study from the University of Alberta, scientists found that a class of older antipsychotic drugs could be a promising new therapeutic option for people with type 2 diabetes,
This can help fill a need among patients who aren’t able to take other currently available treatments.
There is a growing need to find new therapies for type 2 diabetes.
The drug metformin is one of the most common therapeutics for type 2 diabetes, but about 15% of patients aren’t able to take it.
Another type of commonly used drug class (insulin secretagogues) to treat diabetes isn’t as effective for later-stage patients, who also need a different option.
In the study, the team turned their attention to is succinyl CoA:3-ketoacid CoA transferase (SCOT), an enzyme involved in the body’s process of making energy from ketones.
They used computer modeling to find drugs that could potentially interact with SCOT and landed on an older generation of antipsychotic drugs, a drug class called diphenylbutylpiperidines, or DPBP for short.
The team had previously found that a specific drug within this class called pimozide could be repurposed to help treat diabetes, but they’ve since expanded their focus to see whether more of the DPBP class could also be useful for treating the disease.
In the current study, the team tested three drugs and found they all interact with this enzyme.
They all improved blood sugar control by preventing the muscle from burning ketones as a fuel source.
The team says developing a drug is a complicated, time-consuming and expensive process. It involves clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the drug, and can easily cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Not to mention, it can take years to go from development in the laboratory to use in the clinic or hospital. Repurposing an existing drug may help fast-track the process.
Though clinical trials are still needed, repurposing a drug allows researchers to focus specifically on the efficacy and safety of the new intended use—offering the potential to provide a new therapeutic more quickly and cost-effectively.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies that green tea could help reduce death risk in diabetes, and 10 worst foods to avoid if you have diabetes.
For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about how to protect your kidney health if you have diabetes, and results showing six vitamins that could help stop complications in diabetes.
The study was conducted by John Ussher et al and published in the journal Diabetes.
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