Australian researchers they are a step further in developing safer and more effective treatments for type 2 diabetes.
The University of Adelaide have been designing drugs which could help reduce side effects and could also alleviate the need for insulin injections in people with type 2 diabetes.
The two treatments being experimented with have a completely different action to metformin, the first line of treatment for type 2 diabetes.
Whereas metformin works with the liver to help reduce the production of glucose, these new drugs work with a protein receptor called PPARgamma, which is found in fat tissue.
The research team says these new potential drugs target PPARgamma and either fully or partially activated it to increase insulin sensitivity and therefore lower blood sugar levels.
Fourteen different versions of the drug INT131 were the focus of the first study, which was conducted in partnership with the The Scripps Research Institute in Florida.
Researchers say the drug partially activates PPARgamma, which is thought to produce fewer side effects than if there was full activation.
Lead researcher Dr John Bruning said: “A major finding of this study was being able to show which regions of the drug are most important for interacting with the PPARgamma receptor.
“This means we now have the information to design modified drugs which will work even more efficiently.”
The other drug study, carried out in collaboration with Flinders University, looked at rivoglitazone, which they found binds with PPARgamma.
Lead author Dr Rajapaksha, from Flinders University School of Medicine (now at La Trobe University), said: “Showing how this compound interacts with its target is a key step towards being able to design new therapeutics with higher efficiencies and less side effects.”
Both the studies have been published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and BBA-General Subjects.

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