Common drugs could fight obesity and diabetes, scientists say | Medical research

Scientists have identified a range of commonly used drugs that could be repurposed to treat people with obesity and diabetes.

The drugs – which will be presented at the International Obesity Congress in Melbourne this weekend – include treatments for stomach ulcers and heart rhythm disorders and were identified using sophisticated computer programs.

“New treatments with high potency and specificity are urgently needed to tackle a pandemic of chronic diseases associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity,” said Professor Murray Cairns of Newcastle University, in New -South Wales, Australia.

“Our technology harnesses genetically-informed precision medicine to identify and target novel treatments for these complex disorders.”

Drugs chosen as potential treatments for obesity include baclofen, a muscle relaxant, and carfilzomib, a drug used in chemotherapy. In the case of potential diabetes treatments, the researcher identified palbociclib, which is used to treat breast cancer, and cardiac glycosides, which are used to treat heart failure and heart rhythm disorders.

Additionally, they identified drugs that could treat both obesity and diabetes. These included sucralfate, which is used to treat stomach ulcers, and the cancer drug regorafenib.

Repurposing existing drugs to fight new conditions is becoming an increasingly attractive option for treating diseases such as diabetes. The safety of these drugs will already have been studied during their initial pharmaceutical trials and should therefore require less time and money to bring to market.

Also, older drugs may no longer be subject to patent restrictions and should be cheaper for doctors and hospitals to administer.

Cairns and his colleague William Reay studied data on the genetic pathways involved in the development of diabetes and obesity, then used software to compare this information to the pathways taken by existing drugs in the human body. They were able to identify existing drugs that could be repurposed to combat both conditions.

“We wanted to make an impact against these and other complex conditions through the discovery of drugs that target each individual’s genetically encoded biohazard,” Reay said.

The possible development of new treatments for diabetes is encouraging as the number of cases has steadily increased worldwide over the past decades and has been linked to rising rates of obesity and lack of exercise. in individuals.

“Diabetes and obesity are major risk factors for dozens of chronic health conditions that contribute to astonishing levels of human morbidity and mortality,” Reay said.

Two-thirds of adults in the UK are overweight and half suffer from obesity, which is associated with reduced life expectancy and increased rates of cardiovascular disease, hepatic and respiratory and cancer.

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