Lectures by Jon Arch and Mike Cawthorne presented at IBC conference on Targeting Metabolic Disorders

10 April 2008

Mike Cawthorne, Director of Metabolic Research at the Clore Laboratory, University of Buckingham, UK, recently delivered two invited lectures to an audience from major pharma and biotech companies at the IBC 6th annual ‘Targeting Metabolic Disorders’ conference held 17–19 March 2008 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

In the first talk, Mike posed the question ‘Do PPAR gamma activator insulin sensitiser drugs have a future?’ Mike outlined the approach taken in the discovery of rosiglitazone and how potential side effects of water retention and adipogenesis had been identified at an early stage. He noted that despite intense research effort no second generation agents had been developed so far. He suggested pharmacological approaches that should be tried to obtain second generation compounds with improved therapeutic index.

The second talk, which was a keynote presentation, given on behalf of Jon Arch, Deputy Director of Metabolic Research, Clore Laboratory, University of Buckingham, UK, was entitled ‘Strategies for the discovery of anti-obesity drugs: balancing risk with hope’. It was noted that current drugs were not sufficiently efficacious and had some liabilities. It was suggested that non-centrally acting drugs such as gut peptides and peripheral metabolic agents carried less developmental risk but that greater efficacy is only likely to be attained through combination of drugs acting by different mechanisms.