Orally ingested drug to help Type 2 diabetes sufferers

A new drug invented by Monash University researchers Paul Zimmet and Frank Ng could help Type 2 diabetes sufferers lower blood glucose levels and enhance the potency of insulin, with few side effects.

The drug -- ISF402 -- is the most advanced project of Pharmaceutical Company Dia-B Tech Limited which will be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on Monday 24 January.

Professor Zimmet said the major advantage of the drug over existing therapies was that ISF was based on a naturally occurring peptide in human fluids with only four amino acids, so it was unlikely to have major side effects

An oral version of the drug is being developed and human trials are scheduled to begin at the end of 2006.

ISF was originally isolated by Professors Zimmet and Ng in the early 70s. Studies at Monash University have revealed the drug significantly reduces glucose levels in animal models of diabetes.

"ISF402 lowers blood glucose and has been shown to be more effective when co-administered with injected insulin," Professor Zimmet said.

"It is anticipated that it will also enhance the action of insulin and improve the control of blood glucose levels."

Professor Zimmet said ISF402 was targeted specifically for Type 2 diabetes sufferers, whose condition was mainly associated with obesity and which was usually resistant to insulin.



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