New drug developed that may help people with type 2 diabetes

Australian scientists have found a drug that may potentially be useful in helping to treat type 2 diabetes.

In conjunction with American pharmaceutical company DiaKine Therapeutics, a team from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney developed a drug known as Lisofylline. This anti-inflammatory treatment is currently undergoing clinical trials for a variety of other diseases.

The scientists believe that it functions in preventing the build-up of harmful byproducts that may arise from the metabolism of fats in the body. When fats build up in the muscle or liver tissue of obese individuals, their products may prevent the normal absorption of glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

"The blood sugar levels of people with insulin resistance take a long time to come down after eating because glucose can't get into their cells," said researcher Carsten Schmitz-Peiffer. "High blood sugar can lead to many unwelcome complications, such as kidney failure and blindness."

The team tested Lisofylline on obese laboratory mice that were given a high-fat diet. The drug appeared to be safe and effective, but the researchers say that more clinical trials are needed before they can conclude its efficacy in helping to treat type 2 diabetes.