This week in therapeutics

Indication

Target/marker/pathway

Summary

Licensing status

Publication and
contact information

Endocrine/metabolic disease

Diabetes

Growth hormone-releasing hormone receptor (GHRHR); GHRH

In vitro and mouse studies suggest pancreatic islet cells pretreated with GHRHR agonists and transplanted into the adrenal gland could help treat diabetes. In cell culture, a potent GHRH analog increased the viability and proliferation of rat islet cells compared with vehicle control. The viability was further increased by coculture with adrenal cells. In a mouse model of type 1 diabetes, transplantation of analog-preconditioned islets into the adrenal gland rapidly decreased blood glucose levels compared with transplantation into the standard kidney capsule. Next steps could include optimizing the GHRH analogs for clinical use.
At least four companies have GHRHR agonists in development stages ranging from preclinical to marketed for various indications.

SciBX 6(5); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.114
Published online Feb. 7, 2013

Patent applications pending; exclusively licensed to Biscayne Pharmaceuticals Inc.; may be available for collaborations or partnerships

Schubert, U. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Jan. 23, 2013;
doi:10.1073/pnas.1221505110
Contact: Andrew V. Schally, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Fla.
e-mail:
andrew.schally@va.gov