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New Diabetes Drug that Switches ‘On’ or ‘Off’ by a Blue Light

Researchers have made a drug for type 2 diabetes which is triggered through the use of blue light and hence making the way to decrease side effects of medication of diabetes.

The drug will not work under normal circumstances but in theory a patient can turn it on through the use of blue LED attached in the skin.

Just a small amount of the light will be needed to go through the skin to alter the shape of the drug and turn it on.

The change can be reverted and hence the drug turns itself off again after the light goes off.

Light-activated drug to help control diabetes Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

Light-activated drug to help control diabetes
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

David Hodson, from the Imperial College of London, stated: “Diabetes drugs that promote the release of insulin from the pancreas can in some cases cause side effects due to their actions on other organs such as the brain and heart. Some can also stimulate too much insulin release, causing blood sugar levels to drop too low.”

To help make better drugs, scientists belonging to the Imperial College London and the Ludwig Maximilian University situated in Munich adapted a previous type of drug called sulfonylurea so that it changes its shape on exposure to blue coloured light.

They showed that the JB253, the prototype drug increases release of insulin from the pancreatic cells in the lab during exposure to sunlight.

Hodson further added: “In principle, this type of therapy may allow better control over blood sugar levels because it can be switched on for a short time when required after a meal. It should also reduce complications by targeting drug activity to where it’s needed in the pancreas.”

“So far, we have created a molecule that has the desired effect on human pancreatic cells in the lab. Our ultimate goal is to make this therapy available to patients soon.” he noted.

Type 2 of diabetes infects 350 million people worldwide.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

About Enozia Vakil

Enozia Vakil is an online entrepreneur, writer, editor and an avid reader. She has been associated with some of the best names in both online and print media, and holds a degree in Alternative Medicine.