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Aaron Vinik Part 5, Wonder Drug: SGLT-2 Inhibitor and GLP-1 Agonist

In part 5 of this Exclusive Interview, Dr. Aaron Vinik talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the AACE 2017 convention in Austin, Texas about the need to continue research into drugs such as SGLT-2s because breakthroughs may possibly be found in these medications.

Aaron Vinik, MD, PhD, FCP, MACP is the Director of Research and Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Neurobiology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. His research and recent discovery of a gene, INGAP, could prove to be a cure for diabetes.

Transcript of this video segment:

Steve Freed: You know every time you talk, I generate about 50 more questions. I can keep you here maybe a week, okay. One of the things that came up in one of your answers is that SGLT-2 and the GLP-1’s are very effective and they’re doing right now trials with combining those two and I know there’s a GLP, semaglutide, that is an oral drug, so if you put those two together, would we get the wonder drug?

Dr. Vinik: We may well. If my theory or my suggestion is correct, we will get a wonder drug. But we may learn a few other things en route. You know people have a problem. They haven’t been doubting Thomases and stuck their fingers in the wounds and saying what’s the difference between the two. And what I’m telling you is I’ve put my finger in the wound. I said I can tell you the difference between these two. If I’m right and we capitalize on it, that would be wonderful if that actually happens. If I’m wrong, and we haven’t got an answer to that, there is an answer buried in this information, I really like the fact that we’ve now got new things to focus on and we can ask new questions. We can learn new modalities of physiological activity, biological activity and pathological activity. That’s what’s so nice about this all. You know, I think I’ve shared with you once some years back, I used to be on a program up at the University of Michigan and the person that used to talk before me or after me was always the school lawyer and he would always talk about the definition of death. And you know why we speak about that?  People needed to know about that. I took him aside one day and I said, “I have to tell you one thing. Your definition of death is entirely wrong.” He said, “What are you talking about? I mean it’s all the evidence about the definition of death.” I said, “The definition of death is when you stop asking questions, if you stop asking questions, you’re dead.” This has given us a wonderful opportunity. It has given us a renewal, a life renewal, a life extension because we can ask more questions. And I’ve always said that if you ask a question where the answer will hurt you, don’t ask the question. This is a beautiful question because the answer can’t hurt us. We’ll learn that these drugs are changing the course of history for humankind with diabetes. And we don’t know how they’re working, so we can ask a question. It’s not going to hurt us to learn how they work, it may help us to learn how they work and what they really are doing and then capitalize on that, and it may be to put those drugs together or maybe to put other drugs together that facilitate the action that we’re looking for.

To view other segments in this video series:

Part 1: INGAP Research

Part 2: Heart Failure and Diabetes

Part 3: Reversing Heart Disease

Part 4: Cycloset