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Drug Repurposing, Diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, and Gila Monster Saliva

Exenatide treats Type 2 diabetes, but a recent study has led to positive steps in treating Parkinson’s disease. Derived from the saliva of a Gila monster, this GLP-1 hormone mimicking drug could find success outside of its designated treatment, furthering the discussion of drug repurposing in the pharmaceutical industry.

According to our friends over at FierceBiotech, the researchers observed 60 patients with Parkinson’s disease, who had injected themselves once a week with either a placebo or exenatide, while still taking their current prescriptions for 48 weeks. Afterward, the patients were removed from their treatment regimens so that the researchers could study how the disease in each subject was progressing. Factors including such as tremors, agility, and speech were monitored during this process to gauge the subjects’ motor skills on the repurposed diabetes drug. The findings, published in The Lancet, revealed that the patients taking exenatide outperformed the placebo control group.

Tom Foltynie, Ph.D., senior author of this study, reflected on his team’s findings in a recently released statement, stating, “This is a very promising finding, as the drug holds potential to affect the course of the disease itself, and not merely the symptoms. With existing treatments, we can relieve most of the symptoms for some years, but the disease continues to worsen.”

Meanwhile, UCL clinical researcher and the study’s first author, Dilan Athauda, MRCP, explained what these results really mean. “While we are optimistic about the results of our trial, there is more investigation to be done, and it will be a number of years before a new treatment could be approved and ready for use. We also hope to learn why exenatide appears to work better for some patients than for others,” said Athauda.

Read the original article over at FierceBiotech!

ExL’s upcoming 2nd Strategic Partnerships for Drug Repurposing Forum (October 26–27 in Boston) will discuss similar topics, and likely shed more light on this repurposed drug. One of our featured speakers is Research Programs Director, Bernadette Siddiqi of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. She’s presenting the case study titled “Engaging the Patient Community in Repurposed Drug Trials” on Day Two of the conference, going into deeper detail regarding the repurposing, repositioning and rescuing of drugs.

2nd Strategic Partnerships for Drug Repurposing Forum - Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor

Get Involved:

For more information regarding sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please contact Dor Peled at 917-258-5159 or [email protected]

For any other questions, please feel free to reach out to Kelly Osmulski at 917-242-3897or [email protected].

Click here to continue the conversation by joining our LinkedIn group, “Drug Repurposing, Repositioning, and Rescue Forum,” today!

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