Common antidiabetic drugs may be repurposed as treatments for autoimmune diseases

Researchers at Swansea University have found that drugs commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes may also be used to treat autoimmune diseases.

Common antidiabetic drugs may be repurposed as treatments for autoimmune diseases

Image credit: Swansea University

Scientists at the University’s School of Health and Life Sciences have discovered that a drug called canagliflozin, also known as Imvocana, may be used to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. An essential component of the immune system. Canagliflozin is a drug that controls blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, but researchers have discovered an unexpected role for the drug in engaging the human immune system.

Existing studies report that targeting T cell metabolism in autoimmunity may lead to therapeutic effects. T cells are a type of white blood cell that help the body fight infection and disease, but have been observed in autoimmune diseases to attack healthy tissue.

The new study, funded by the Medical Research Council and published today (Wednesday, May 24) in the journal Cell Metabolism, found that canagliflozin inhibited T-cell activation, suggesting that the drug could reduce T-cell activation. It was suggested that it may be reused as an autoimmune therapy using cells. .

Our findings are important because they provide the basis for the clinical development of canagliflozin for the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases. The drug is already in widespread use and has a known safety profile in humans, meaning it could reach the clinic sooner than any new drug developed, providing more rapid and valuable benefits to patients with autoimmune diseases. There is a nature. ”

Senior author Nick Jones, Ph.D., who led this study.

Identifying new roles for drugs currently used in other disease settings is an interesting area of ​​research. As our research primarily targets immune cell metabolism, we expect that the potential therapeutic benefits of our findings can be applied to a wide range of indications. ”

Ben Jenkins, first author and postdoctoral fellow at Swansea.

Researchers hope that canagliflozin will enter clinical trials to treat certain autoimmune diseases in the future.

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