This week in therapeutics




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Endocrine/metabolic disease


Receptor activator of NF-kB ligand (RANKL; TNFSF11)

Patient and mouse studies suggest RANKL antagonists could help treat type 2 diabetes. In patient sera, individuals that developed type 2 diabetes showed higher soluble RANKL levels than those that did not develop the disease. In mice fed high-fat diets, RANKL knockout increased insulin sensitivity and decreased triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the liver compared with no knockout. Next steps include testing RANKL antagonists in preclinical models of diabetes.
Amgen Inc. and Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. market Prolia denosumab, a human mAb targeting RANKL, to treat bone cancer and osteoporosis.
Ablynx N.V. has a nanobody against RANKL in Phase I testing to treat bone cancer and osteoporosis.

SciBX 6(7); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.163
Published online Feb. 21, 2013

Patent application filed; unlicensed

Kiechl, S. et al. Nat. Med.;
published online Feb. 10, 2013;
Contact: Georg Schett, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
Contact: Stefan Kiechl, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria