Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook




 

Genomics indicates likelihood of side effects in diabetes drug hunt

20 June 2016

By Rikita Patel

Appeared in BioNews 856

Genomics could help predict drug side effects in patients with type 2 diabetes early in the drug development process, according to a study.

The proof-of-principle study suggests that genetic data could be used to narrow down the search for drugs that are safe as well as effective.

Type 2 diabetes poses a high cardiovascular risk to patients, so the US Food and Drug Administration has recommended that pharmaceuticals must not only demonstrate clinical efficacy, but must also not increase patients' cardiovascular risk.  

This is a challenge, according to Dr Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health. 'Long-term health risks may not become clear until thousands or even tens of thousands of people have received [a drug] over the course of many years,' he wrote in a blog.

Writing in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers from the University of Cambridge and GlaxoSmithKline say they used data from 50,000 people to identify six genes that influence type 2 diabetes and obesity, showing promise as potential drug targets.

One particular variant of the GLP1R gene was associated with a lower fasting glucose level and reduced type 2 diabetes risk. Analysis indicated that the variant mimics the effects of a class of antidiabetic drugs called (GLP1R)-agonists. These drugs bind to the GLP-1 receptor to increase insulin production, helping reduce levels of blood sugar. The results were confirmed in another 40,000 individuals.

The researchers then assessed whether the variant influenced cardiovascular risk using data from over 60,000 people with coronary heart disease and 163,000 controls. They found that the variant actually gives protection against heart disease, which gives them confidence that (GLP1R)-agonists would not increase cardiovascular risk and might even lower it.

'This further suggests that human genetics can support the development of new therapies, and can offer insights into their safety profile early in the development process,' said Dr Robert Scott from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, the study's first author.

'Researching and developing new medicines is a lengthy, expensive and risky journey, and any insights we can gain into the processes of the body related to disease could help improve our ability to succeed,' said Dr Dawn Waterworth, joint senior author from GlaxoSmithKline.

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

10 July 2017 - by Jennifer Willows 
The Chief Medical Officer of England's annual report has recommended that personalised medicine approaches be adopted widely within the NHS.
03 October 2016 - by Meetal Solanki 
Genes involved in determining a baby's birthweight may also predispose them to diseases in later life, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, a global study has found...

13 June 2016 - by Kulraj Singh Bhangra 
The US National Institutes of Health has announced a new initiative that encourages the sharing of genomic and clinical data among researchers across the world...
25 April 2016 - by Rachel Siden 
AstraZeneca has signed deals with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and two other institutions to launch one of the largest genome-sequencing efforts yet undertaken...
21 March 2016 - by Helen Robertson 
'Personalised medicine' is a term that's being increasingly used to describe the future of cancer treatment. But are we ready for the genomics revolution that comes with it?...
14 March 2016 - by Isobel Steer 
Genetic-testing company Ambry Genetics has launched a huge database of cancer-patient genetics, freely available to the public...
25 January 2016 - by Rikita Patel 
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has pledged over US$280 million over the next four years to genome sequencing targeting common and rare human diseases...

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust
Advertise your products and services HERE - click for further details

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation