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Compounds that increase insulin secretion

Organization:Boston University, MA, US
I.P. Brief:A class of compounds which are useful for increasing insulin secretion in Type II diabetic patients. In particular, these investigators have discovered a class of compounds that are inhibitors of UCP2 (Uncoupling Protein 2), a mitochondrial inner membrane protein involved in energy metabolism
Summary of I.P.:Cells sense glucose through its metabolism and the resulting increase in ATP, which subsequently stimulates insulin secretion. UCP2 mediates mitochondrial proton leak, decreasing ATP production. UCP2 knockout mice were shown to have higher islet ATP levels and increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, establishing that UCP2 negatively regulates insulin secretion. Importantly, mice lacking leptin (ob/ob) and also lacking UCP2 had restored first-phase insulin secretion, increased serum insulin levels, and greatly decreased levels of glycemia. Therefore, UCP2 is a key component of beta-cell glucose sensing, and is a critical link between obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Compounds that inhibit UCP2 can be viewed as a therapy for diabetes.
Patent:US patent pending
Keywords:diabetes, compounds, insulin secretion
Primary Industry:Pharma & Biotech
Specific Market:Diabetes treatment
Market Size:175 million diagnosed diabetics world-wide, and an equal number of people who are undiagnosed. By 2010, the global prevalence of diagnosed diabetes is expected to reach 239 million.
State of the Art:TBD
Figures of Merit:TBD
Tech.  Obstacles:TBD
Market Obstacles:Early stage technology. Additional compounds need to be synthesized, testing in animal models, including pharmacological/toxicity testing, and human clinical trials. This technology is high risk, high reward.
Patent Landscape:PCT/US04/009957 published, filed in national phase in US and is pending. Related to US patent 6,365,796.
Publications:Cell, volume 105, pp. 745-755, 2001
Research Team:Brad Lowell, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. John Porco, Ph.D. is a Professor of Chemistry at BU.


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