Today in France, the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes diagnosed is around 4.5% of the population, or about 3 million patients according to the European Center for the Study of Diabetes. In 2021, according to the Atlas of the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes affects more than 537 million people worldwide, or 1 in 10 people. A real pandemic.
This diabetes, also called non-insulinodependant diabetes, mainly affects people over 40 years of age. It is a serious disease due to its complications, particularly on the heart, blood vessels, kidneys and nerves. “People with type 2 diabetes secrete insulin, but this hormone regulates their blood sugar levels less effectively. This level, called blood sugar, remains abnormally high after a meal, which is the definition diabetes. Little by little, the pancreas is exhausted to secrete increasing amounts of insulin”, can we read on the Vidal website.
Until today, doctors did not know how to act on the biological mechanism that causes it, but only on the consequences. This was equivalent to regulating the blood sugar through medication.
Type 2 diabetes: a drug to restore the normal physiology of adipocytes
The starting postulate of the scientists was to develop new treatments, more effective. No therapeutic innovation has taken place on the market for years. In a recent study carried out in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and Monash University, scientists developed a product called PATAS into a new class of anti-diabetic drugs dubbed ‘Adipeutics’ (for ‘adipocyte-specific therapy’). .
This treatment is different. The researchers started from the fact that, in healthy people, adipose tissue (the fat in our body) normally captures 10% of the sugar circulating in the blood and transforms it into good lipids which are useful to the body. In people with diabetes, the fatty tissues have lost their ability to take up glucose from the blood. The good news provided by this study is that this mechanism can be restored. This is the goal of this new experimental treatment. Via regular injections, it could regulate blood sugar levels.
Diabetes: an improvement in insulin resistance
“Thanks to PATAS, adipocytes that no longer had access to glucose are again able to absorb glucose and then metabolize it in order to synthesize and secrete lipids beneficial for the whole organism while absorbing extremely toxic lipids, non-esterified fatty acids. The effects are visible in animals, with a marked improvement in insulin resistanceand a whole host of other parameters and comorbidities, in particular better glycemic regulation, a reduction in steatosis and liver fibrosis”, specifies Vincent Marion, who is leading the study with his team at the medical genetics laboratory ( Inserm/University of Strasbourg).
Early animal testing has shown that this drug also improves the condition of the liver and heart. Human trials should start soon. However, we will have to be patient: if all goes well, these researchers are considering marketing within 10 years. As a reminder, this study follows previous work carried out by the team which had identified a new therapeutic target against type 2 diabetes, by focusing on an ultra-rare monogenic disease, Alström syndrome. New research also shows that environmental measures such as mealtimes can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, eating your evening meal several hours before bedtime may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.