Research // Diabetes & Metabolic Disease //

Therapeutics for Metabolic Disease

The Maurice Wilkins Centre’s Therapeutics for Metabolic Disease Flagship focuses on the development of treatments that target metabolic hormonal systems in order to treat human metabolic disorders.

Obesity and diabetes are a major health concern globally, with their prevalence reaching epidemic proportions in many developed countries. One of the main issues that healthcare practitioners have faced in combating these disorders involves the limitations of existing lifestyle and treatment strategies.

Educational approaches and dietary modifications aren’t particularly effective in helping patients with obesity. Many try but fail to lose weight as the intrinsic hunger drive cannot easily be overcome. There is therefore a need for new pharmacological therapies that complement educational approaches, along with further research into individualised treatments that are based on genetic profiles.

At the Maurice Wilkins Centre, we are developing novel peptide modulators of natural hormone systems as potential metabolic disease therapeutics.

Our lead flagship compounds currently in preclinical testing are novel agonists of amylin (a peptide co-secreted with insulin that plays a role in blood glucose control and satiation), and antagonists of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP, a peptide which plays a role in controlling metabolism).

This flagship is also investigating a range of other agents with potential application in the treatment of metabolic disease.