It's true - The Food and Drug Administration approved the new drug Byetta on Friday. Derived from the saliva of the Gila Monster and known chemically as exenatide, it's the first drug in a new class of medications for Type 2 diabetes. Currently it would be used along with older diabetes medications, not on it's own. Byetta would be injected twice a day, and is an "incretin mimetic," meaning it mimics the action of the hormone GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide 1) that's secreted by the gut to begin insulin production after a meal - but only when blood sugar is high. The drug is a synthetic version of a protein found in the saliva of the Gila monster that works similarly to the human GLP-1. Adding Byetta triggered about a 1 percent drop in patients' HbA1C levels in the studies run by the manufacturer, which FDA metabolic drugs chief Dr. David Orloff stated is "consistent with blood-sugar lowering caused by other diabetes drugs."
Always good to hear of advances in the field of diabetes, since I am a diabetic - right now I've got good control of my sugar and my HbA1C results on my last test were good, but it's nice to know that another helpful drug will be available if I need it down the road. Although I certainly don't look forward to injections twice a day!