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The 16 aug 03 issue of Science News claims that a new class of drugs is being researched. The drugs emulate the intestinal hormone "glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1), inducing the pancreas to churn out insulin". Unfortunately, GLP1 has a halflife of "mere minutes" in the blood stream. A component of gila monster venom, exendin-4, is claimed to resemble GLP1 and have a longer half-life (hours?? -- biologically active in mice for a day). Investigator: John Eng, Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, the Bronx. Natural GLP1 has been shown in the laboratory to improve the health of pancreatic beta cells and possibly to stimulate the production of new beta cells. Quoted investigator: Riccardo Perfetti, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals of San Diego is said to be working on an injectable version of exendin-4 that is biologically active in humans for 6 hours. Amylin is working with Eli Lilly to develop a slow-release injectable version (biodegradable polymer beads). Other companies are cited as working on other versions of the drug.

Science News is reasonably reputable, in that it usually grabs its info from reputable scientific journal articles. Science News also makes you pay (subscription) to get the article from its website ( Don't access the .com site -- i got whammed by popup ads when i incorrectly entered the suffix .com -- kinda like whitehouse . com (porn site). Read the article for free in your local library.


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