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Asthma Drug to Treat Diabetes and Obesity

Obese mice treated with the asthma drug amlexanox had a renewed sensitivity to catecholamines, utilized excess energy, and returned to normal size, according to Alan R. Saltiel, PhD, University of Michigan. "There is considerable evidence to suggest that in states of obesity, adipose tissue becomes less sensitive to catecholamines because IKK-epsilon and TBK1 act as a sort of brake on metabolism, and that this reduced sensitivity in turn reduces energy expenditure," Saltiel said in a press release. "By releasing the brake, amlexanox seems to free the metabolic system of mice to burn more and possibly store less energy in response to catecholamines." A new study with humans will begin this month showing efficacy of amlexanox, which is currently used internationally in different formulations for treating asthma and canker sores, in obese humans and patients with diabetes. Nature Medicine