Amlexanox Could Reverse Obesity & Diabetes
The findings made by Alan Saltiel were published online in the Journal of Natural Medicine. “One of the reasons that diets are so ineffective in producing weight loss for some people is that their bodies adjust to the reduced calories by also reducing their metabolism, so that they are 'defending' their body weight,” Saltiel said. “Amlexanox seems to tweak the metabolic response to excessive calorie storage in mice.”
Different formulations of amlexanox are currently prescribed to treat asthma in Japan and canker sores in the US. Saltiel is working alongside clinical-trial specialists at U-M to test whether amlexanox could be useful for treating obesity and diabetes in humans. He is also working with medicinal chemists at U-M to develop a new compound based on the drug that optimizes its formula.
The study appears to confirm and extend the notion that the genes IKKE and TBK1 play a crucial role for maintaining metabolic balance, a discovery published by the Saltiel lab in 2009 in the journal Cell.
“Amlexanox appears to work in mice by inhibiting two genes—IKKE and TBK1—that we think together act as a sort of brake on metabolism,” Saltiel said. “By releasing the brake, amlexanox seems to free the metabolic system to burn more, and possibly store less, energy.”
Currently it is yet to be determined if the drug, which has been on the Japanese market for more than 25 years will have the same effect on humans as it did on mice.