3:58 PM
 | 
Oct 06, 2017
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Metabolic contrarian

Why Antag thinks blocking GIP is better than agonizing it in metabolic disease

Antag Therapeutics ApS is going against the grain, blocking rather than boosting the effects of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide to treat obesity and diabetes.

While several other companies are developing agonists to enhance the peptide’s glucose-regulating activity, Antag believes the hormone loses its normal activity and becomes pathogenic during metabolic diseases.

In healthy people, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) stimulates insulin secretion when glucose levels are high, and stimulates hepatic production of glucagon when glucose levels are low. It also regulates fat stores, boosting fat deposition when glucose and insulin levels are both high by increasing blood flow and metabolite uptake into adipose tissue.

But CEO Alexander Sparre-Ulrich told BioCentury there's evidence that in diabetes, GIP simultaneously stimulates pathologically high levels of glucagon secretion that likely contribute to hyperglycemia, and fails to trigger insulin secretion due to selective desensitization of GIP receptors on pancreatic beta cells.

“GIP is the main player here -- that’s one of our...

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