Friday, June 02, 2006

Losartan, a stimulator of insulin release?

DailyUpdates 2nd June: In today’s edition of DailyUpdates we highlight exciting new data on the potential use of the antihypertensive, losartan as a modulator of insulin release and production and hence a directly acting therapeutic for the treatment of diabetes. This supplements additional beneficial activity resulting from blood pressure control. In addition we report on European approval of Thelin, Encysive’s candidate for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension

The possible use of losartan as a dual metabolic regulator/antihypertensive: As reported in our brand new feature The World Diabetes Market, 2005-2011, diabetes affects approximately 170 million people worldwide and is increasing, with the WHO predicting 300 million diabetics by 2025. The US alone has 20.8 million people suffering with diabetes. This equates to approximately 6% of the population. It was the 6th most common cause of death as recorded on US death certificates. The global diabetes drugs treatment market was valued of $15 billion in 2005. Oral anti-diabetics were the leading category of drugs - $8.19 billion - and showed a growth rate of 6.3% from the total global sales in 2004. The total sales for insulin products increased by 16.5% to total global sales of $6.83 billion in 2004. The search for new therapeutic agents continues and today’s edition of DailyUpdates highlights the intriguing possibility that the angiotensin system may play an important role in the regulation of insulin. The presence of an angiotensin-generating system in pancreatic islets has already been reported; so too has the observation that exogenously administered angiotensin II inhibits insulin release through AT1 receptors. The present study reports that AT1R expression is upregulated in the pancreatic islets of obese and diabetic mice. In addition, the AT1R antagonist losartan improved glucose-induced insulin release and (pro)insulin biosynthesis in the islets of these mice. Over recent years the sartans have been the fastest-growing antihypertensives with sales of losartan hitting $1.4 billion in the first half of 2004. Hypertension is commonly found co-morbidly with obesity and diabetes and together the three make up the metabolic syndrome (see Metabolic Syndrome - Prevalence, Physician Awareness, Therapeutic Options and Developmental Candidates). The current study is intriguing as it suggests that losartan may not only reduce hypertension but that it may also improve glucose handling in these patients.

CHMP approves new treatment for pulmonary hypertension: On March 24, 2006 DailyUpdates highlighted news from Encysive Pharmaceuticals announcing receipt of an approvable letter from the FDA for Thelin (sitaxsentan sodium), which is under review for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Today we headline with an announcement that the CHMP have recommended approval of Thelin for the treatment of these patients


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