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FDA OKs Lizard-Derived Shot for Diabetes (Type 2 Diabetics)

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FDA OKs Lizard-Derived Shot for Diabetes (Type 2 Diabetics)

Old 05-01-05, 01:09 PM
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FDA OKs Lizard-Derived Shot for Diabetes (Type 2 Diabetics)

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9-APR-2005
FDA OKs Lizard-Derived Shot for Diabetes

WASHINGTON - Type 2 diabetics got a new option to help control their blood sugar Friday, a drug derived from the saliva of the Gila monster - but one that must be injected twice a day.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Byetta, known chemically as exenatide, the first in a new class of medications for Type 2 diabetes - but for now, it's supposed to be used together with older diabetes drugs, not alone.

Makers Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly & Co. said the prescription drug would begin selling by June 1, but wouldn't provide a price.

Some 18 million Americans have diabetes, the vast majority the Type 2 form, in which the body loses the ability to turn blood sugar into energy because it either doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't use it correctly. It is closely associated with obesity.

When diet and exercise aren't enough to control Type 2 diabetes, patients can try certain oral medications to lower blood sugar. The most common, drugs called sulfonylureas, spur the body to produce more insulin.

When those drugs fail, adding Byetta to them offers patients a new option to try before resorting to injections of insulin.

Byetta is the first so-called "incretin mimetic," meaning it mimics action of a hormone called GLP-1 that's secreted by the gut to spur insulin production after a meal - but only when blood sugar is high.

That's important, noted FDA metabolic drugs chief Dr. David Orloff, because other diabetes drugs spur insulin secretion even if blood sugar already is low, leading to the risk of hypoglycemia.

Byetta is a synthetic version of a protein found in the saliva of the Gila monster that works similarly to the human GLP-1.


In studies, Byetta was given in addition to sulfonylureas, another common diabetes drug called metformin, or a combination of the older treatments.

Adding Byetta triggered about a 1 percent drop in patients' A1C levels, an important measurement of blood-sugar averages, Orloff said. That's consistent with blood-sugar lowering caused by other diabetes drugs, he said.

The most common side effect was nausea. Also, patients who take Byetta with a sulfonylurea may need doses of that older drug reduced to avoid hypoglycemia, the manufacturers said.

The FDA encouraged the manufacturers to submit additional studies to show whether Byetta could eventually become a stand-alone treatment for Type 2 diabetes.
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Old 05-01-05, 01:31 PM
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Mmmm, gila monster drool...
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Old 05-01-05, 01:43 PM
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Haven't these brainiacs ever seen ALLIGATOR PEOPLE?
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Old 05-01-05, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Type 2 diabetics got a new option to help control their blood sugar Friday, a drug derived from the saliva of the Gila monster - but one that must be injected twice a day.

When those drugs fail, adding Byetta to them offers patients a new option to try before resorting to injections of insulin.
Man, this is great for diabetics! Now they won't have to inject themselves! Wait a sec...
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Old 05-01-05, 06:40 PM
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how in the hell did they discover this?!?! were gila monsters running rampant one dzay, biting people and they all ended up with mystriously low blood sugar??? im hoping that there were DNA analyses done and it was put into a database and out popped gila slobber. i would have loved to see ths surprised face on that scientist when he got the results!
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Old 05-01-05, 07:01 PM
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Iguana believe this is true, but I doubt it could gila diabetic.
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Old 05-01-05, 08:40 PM
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johnglass, really, that's probably one of the best puns I've ever seen. Really.

Not really surprising, since I'm sure the gila's mouth plays a bigger part in digestion than ours does.
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Old 05-01-05, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by johnglass
Iguana believe this is true, but I doubt it could gila diabetic.
Nice one.


I wonder if the Gila monster venom comes into play at all or is it just the saliva itself. Kind of an odd discovery.
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