Diabetes: Transforming Technology into Safe and Effective Medicines

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Larry Altstiel, MD, PhD, EVP, Chief Medical Officer, vTv Therapeutics also discussed their team’s programs in type 2 diabetes. One is an activator of an enzyme called glucocynase – a master regulator for glucose in the body. According to Altstiel, when glucose is too high, it either shuns it off to energy production or stores it in the form of glycogen. It’s an insulin independent way of how the body controls glucose.

Larry Altstiel, MD, PhD, EVP, Chief Medical Officer, vTv Therapeutics also discussed their team’s programs in type 2 diabetes. One is an activator of an enzyme called glucocynase — a master regulator for glucose in the body. According to Altstiel, when glucose is too high, it either shuns it off to energy production or stores it in the form of glycogen. It’s an insulin independent way of how the body controls glucose.

“We have a small molecule that activates this; this is the first small molecule hat has actually shown sustained effect. Many people use this as a target, but we’ve been able to find a way to make it work in the liver and avoid other parts of the body, and we’ve shown sustained effect over 6 months.” Chief Scientific Officer Carmen Valcarce, PhD, led this project. Altstiel explained his team believes this actually may have some real benefit in type 1 diabetes in help lowering the need for insulin.

The second one is a glucagon-like receptor agonist. The GLP is the most commonly prescribed medicines right now in type 2 diabetes — it’s where much of the innovation is done. Currently the GLP-1s are all injectables and have side effects of nausea and vomiting. “In our particular case, ours is an oral molecule, and it also doesn’t seem to have the GI side effects. And, again, it has activity comparable to or equal to what’s on the market right now.”

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