Have you ever noticed that your friends who make out with giant poisonous lizards never have diabetes? Now we know why!

As it turns out, gila monsters, a type of large, carnivorous, poisonous lizard native to the Southern U.S. and Northern Mexico have a kind of hormone in their salivary glands called Exendin-4, which causes humans and gila monsters alike to produce extra insulin in response to a rise in blood sugar. The hormone is very similar to a human hormone called GLP-1, only it lasts longer.

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Come on in a little closer, baby. I don’t bite…

The new drug, a synthetic version of…

…the Exendin-4, will be administered through injection and can be used in conjunction with other diabetes medicine. The drug also causes a decrease in appetite, further helping people with type 2 diabetes, whose usual drugs often cause weight gain.

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The drug does have one or two notable side effects…

Here’s a quote from Dr. Anoop Misra (seen above), Director of the Department of Diabetes and Metabolism, Fortis Hospitals (from the India Times): “The new drug acts through GLP 1, a human hormone with multiple actions. It acts on the pancreas to increase insulin production and works on the intestine to decrease its movements, thereby decreasing glucose absorption and causing a decrease in appetite.”

We’re thinking of a possible tie-in at Jamba Juice? I’ll have the Protein Berry shake, with the immunity boost and an extra shot of gila phlegm, please.


  1. #1 hibob
    October 1, 2007

    I know a bunch of folks at Amylin, the company that developed this drug (Exenatide). It was approved back in ’05. Maybe it was just approved – or “cumpulsorily licensed” in India this year?

  2. #2 tharding
    October 1, 2007

    I hope they don’t need many gila monsters for this. There aren’t a lot left.

  3. #3 Jeb, FCD
    October 1, 2007

    Is that a picture of a gila on a diamondback?

  4. #4 qetzal
    October 1, 2007


    Not to worry. Exendin-4 is chemically synthesized.

  5. #5 Drhoz!
    October 6, 2007

    venemous lizards, surely?

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