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Marrying Glucagon with GLP-1 to Treat Obesity

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Because glucagon raises blood glucose in the liver, it's counter-intuitive to think of it as the basis for a strategy to treat obesity and its associated consequences, including adult onset diabetes. But a research team has shown that a single-molecule "co-agonist" of glucagon and GLP-1 normalizes glucose tolerance and reduces body fat and weight in preclinical models. This molecular-level polypharmacy is particularly appealing in metabolic disease, where single mechanisms tend to offer only modest therapeutic effects.

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Altering The Insulin Resistance System

With the US deeply mired in an obesity epidemic, a growing aging population throughout the developed world, and rising rates of obesity, the market for therapeutic agents for metabolic disorders and especially type 2 diabetes will continue to grow. Little wonder that many emerging companies are pursuing innovative metabolic, obesity, and type 2 diabetes programs to supplement those of Big Pharma. We profile four of them in this issue: Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Limerick BioPharma, Marcadia Biotech and Rhythm Pharmaceuticals.

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