IIT Mandi researchers discover drug molecule to treat diabetes

The drug can be used as an orally administered medicine for type 1, type 2 diabetes, claims IIT Mandi researchers.

IIT Mandi researchers discover drug molecule to treat diabetes Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi
Abhiraj P | May 2, 2022 - 3:33 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: A research team at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi have discovered a drug molecule called "PK2" to treat diabetes by triggering insulin release by the pancreas. The drug can be used as an orally administered medicine for diabetes, says a statement from IIT Mandi.

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Insufficient insulin release by the pancreas can lead to diabetes issues. Drugs such as exenatide and liraglutide were used to trigger insulin release. The researchers at IIT Mandi used methods such as computer simulation to screen small molecules that could help in insulin release to find alternatives to these drugs.

The research team included Prosenjit Mondal, associate professor at the School of Basic Sciences, Subrata Ghosh, School of Basic Sciences, IIT Mandi, Sunil Kumar, ICAR- IASRI, PUSA, New Delhi, Budheswar Dehury, ICMR RMRC, Bhubaneswar, Khyati Girdhar, Shilpa Thakur, Abhinav Choubey, Pankaj Gaur, Surbhi Dogra, Bidisha Biswas and Durgesh Kumar Dwivedi.

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“Current drugs such as exenatide and liraglutide used for diabetes, are administered as injections, and they are costly and unstable after administration. We seek to find simpler drugs that are stable, cheap, and effective against both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes,” said Mondal. “Beyond increasing insulin release, PK2 was also able to prevent and even reverse beta cell loss, a cell essential for insulin production, making it effective for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes,” he further said. The findings of the research have been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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“We first tested the binding of PK2 on GLP1R proteins in human cells and found that it is able to bind well to GLP1R proteins. This showed that PK2 can potentially trigger insulin release by the beta cells,” said Girdhar.


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