New combined pill for diabetes and heart disease being developed

Thu, 21 Jul 2011
Researchers are developing a potential new drug therapy that can treat both type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which could provide an effective alternative to the use of statins, it has emerged.

The class of drug, cholesterol ester transfer proteins (CETPs), are able to increase the amount of so-called good cholesterol (HDL) in the body, as well as stabilising levels of blood sugar and lowering the chances of developing diabetes and heart disease .

It is hoped the new drugs could offer real benefits for treating type 2 diabetes, especially as some people do not react well to statins, which are taken to reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the bloodstream and lower the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems .

It was shown that when one of the CETPs, torcetrapib, was taken in conjunction with a statin, levels of HDL went up by 67 per cent, while those patients who only took the statin experienced no change. Those people who were on both drugs saw their blood sugar levels go down by about 7 per cent lower as compared with those who took just the statin, and it was also found that insulin resistance was improved.

Another couple of similar drugs, dalcetrapib and anacetrapib, are also being developed by scientists.
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