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.
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.
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.
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?
I hope they don't need many gila monsters for this. There aren't a lot left.
Is that a picture of a gila on a diamondback?
Not to worry. Exendin-4 is chemically synthesized.
venemous lizards, surely?