Advances in type 2 diabetes drugs

One of the drug prototypes proved capable of reducing disease symptoms in diabetes-prone mice without triggering weight gain or fluid retention, potential side effects of current drugs, according to research conducted in part by Dana-Farber's Bruce Spiegelman, the Stanley J. Korsmeyer Professor of Cell Biology and Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Credit: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff

Researchers from Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla., report they have created prototype drugs having powerful anti-diabetic effects, yet apparently free — at least in mice — of dangerous side effects plaguing some current diabetes medications.

The researchers say that their “proof-of-principle” findings could lead to safer medications for type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 25 million children and adults in the United States. Their findings are being published Sept. 4 by the journal Nature as an advanced online publication and later in a print edition.

One of the drug prototypes proved capable of reducing disease symptoms in diabetes-prone mice without triggering weight gain or fluid retention, potential side effects of current drugs such as rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos) that can have had fatal consequences in some patients.

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