Drug Combo More Effective Than Single Therapy For Diabetes
,” said Andrea Haqq, a professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
The researchers recently published a paper that examines the potential of several drugs that control incretins. These metabolic hormones stimulate the body to produce insulin and use it effectively. They also suppress appetite in order to control blood sugars and reduce weight.
The researchers conclude that combining the drugs has several advantages, including higher effectiveness in at least some patients and fewer side effects
Even a five percent weight loss is considered clinically meaningful, and patients in some of the combination drug trials are achieving 10 or 15 percent, said Haqq, who is a member of the Alberta Diabetes Institute and the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute.
Haqq’s laboratory is collaborating with that of Timo Müller, director of the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at the Helmholtz Diabetes Center and a researcher with the German Center for Diabetes Research in Münich, Germany.
As part of the collaboration with the Müller team, first author Qiming Tan, a Ph.D. candidate in the U of A Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, will study for a term in Germany and a German student will join Haqq’s lab here.
Some racial and ethnic groups bear a disproportionate burden of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, so more participants from these groups are needed in trials. Further studies should also focus on how differences in biological sex affect drug efficacy and safety.
In addition to drug combinations, the researchers are looking for non-pharmacological solutions, such as how adding fiber to a person’s diet can slow weight gain and improve the effectiveness of existing diabetes medications.