A drug approved in Japan for opening restricted airways in asthma patients has a hidden talent: a recent study indicates it may help manage blood levels sugar in diabetics.
University of Michigan said in a release that a three-month study by Michigan Medicine and other researchers found that diabetic patients with fatty liver disease and reduced insulin sensitivity given the asthma drug, amlexanox, used in Japan, saw improvements in their condition. The improvement is believed to be caused by the anti-inflammatory properties of amlexanox, the release said.
Dr. Elif Oral, the project’s chief investigator and director of the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes Obesity and Metabolic Disorder program at Michigan Medicine, described the study as deepening medical knowledge about how disease processes affect one another.
“We are beginning to understand the role this form of internal inflammation plays in the development of chronic diseases like diabetes,” Oral said in the release. “Ultimately, we may be able to personalize therapy based on the degree of inflammation present at baseline – which is a new concept.”
Part of the Michigan Medicine study also enlisted help from scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences and the University of California-San Diego.