Light-Activated T2DM Drug as Simple as Flipping a Switch
the MPR take:
One day, taking medication for type 2 diabetes mellitus may be as simple as turning on a light. Sulfonylureas for the treatment of T2DM work by targeting ATP-sensitive potassium (K+) (KATP) channels but may also cause prolonged episodes of low blood glucose due to hyperinsulinemia, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and contribute to weight gain. Researchers at Imperial College London and LMU Munich have adapted a sulfonylurea that would remain inactive under normal conditions but would change shape and become activated when exposed to a transdermal blue LED. Dubbed JB153, this “fourth-generation” sulfonylurea is based on glimepiride with an azobenzene photoswitch. The photopharmacology may allow for selective targeting of KATP channels at the primary site of dysfunction and allow for tailored treatment based on peak demand for insulin secretion in the patient, such as after a meal. The researchers add that this development is still in the early stages, but that light-activated medications could help improve drug efficacy and safety in T2DM medications.
Scientists have created a drug for type 2 diabetes that is switched on by blue light, which they hope will improve treatment of the disease. There's a long way to go before a therapy is available to patients, but this remains our ultimate goal." Type 2 diabetes affects around 350 million people worldwide.
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