Mike Cawthorne discusses diabetes drug development at industry meeting

3 February 2009

Mike Cawthorne, Director of Metabolic Research at the Clore Laboratory, University of Buckingham gave a lecture entitled ‘Opportunities and challenges for the development of pharmacological therapies for diabetes treatment‘ at a meeting organised by Visiongain in London on 3 February 2009.

Mike suggested that the current focus on controlling blood glucose had not really served the diabetic population well and the future focus should include preservation and ultimately restoration of islet cell mass and function. The only proven therapy to preserve islet cell function was the thiazolidinedione insulin sensitiser drugs but these, or compounds with similar islet protective effects, needed to be given much earlier at the genesis of the disease, ideally at the pre-diabetic stage.

Secondly, Mike said in his opinion the days of monotherapy were or should be over and double therapy or triple therapy consisting of an insulin sensitiser, metformin and a GLP-1 mimetic or potentiator should be used.

Thirdly, it was essential to examine the effects of new agents in models in which the pathophysiological events occurring in human diabetes were present. It was important to focus on the pathophysiology rather than just measuring plasma analytes such as glucose. The Clore Laboratory is fully equipped to undertake such studies under contract. For details see Contract Research.