New medicine class to treat type 2 diabetes 1 August 2022 The medicines currently available to help people manage type 2 diabetes mainly focus on lowering blood glucose; they do not target the underlying biological mechanism that causes the condition. Despite the urgency for developing new and more effective treatments, there have been no major breakthroughs in more than a decade. And this is precisely the objective of the research led by Inserm researcher Vincent Marion and his team at the Medical Genetics Laboratory (Inserm/Université de Strasbourg). In a recent study in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and Monash University, the scientists have developed a product called PATAS in a new class of diabetes medicines called “Adipeutics” (for therapies that specifically target the adipocytes* or fat cells). PATAS can correct the process that leads to type 2 diabetes and its complications, which include insulin resistance.PATAS works by specifically targeting fat cells, restoring glucose entry and thus correcting and re-establishing the metabolic physiology of the adipose tissue.PATAS restores insulin signalling in the adipocytes. This new therapy specifically restores glucose uptake in the adipocytes, resulting in the treatment of insulin resistance with beneficial effects on the whole body. This is made all the more promising by the fact that treating insulin resistance has the potential to address not only type 2 diabetes but a large array of serious medical conditions that result from this resistance. In mouse models of diabetes, PATAS has been able to re-establish the normal physiology of the adipocytes by restoring glucose uptake. “Thanks to PATAS, the adipocytes that could no longer access glucose were once again able to absorb it and then metabolize it in order to synthesize and secrete lipids which are beneficial to the entire body. These positive effects are visible in our animal models, with a marked improvement in insulin resistance. Other parameters and comorbidities are also improved, including better blood glucose control and decreased liver fibrosis and steatosis,” explains Vincent Marion. These promising results in animals have paved the way for the researchers to organise a clinical trial as soon as possible, in order to test PATAS in humans. The successful development of a new class of diabetes medicines could have significant implications for public health, not only to treat type 2 diabetes but also many other cardio-metabolic disorders in which dysfunctional adipocytes and insulin resistance are very problematic. Diabetes, July 2022 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2337/db22-0058 (Edited for clarity and space) *Adipocytes, also known as lipocytes and fat cells, are the cells that primarily compose adipose tissue, specialised in storing energy as fat.