New pharmacological approach could treat type 2 diabetes

Niclosamide improved glycaemic control and delayed disease progression in mouse models of diabetes

Insulin resistance is a hallmark of type 2 diabetes yet current anti-diabetic drugs do not correct this defect. One driver of insulin resistance is ectopic lipid accumulation in the liver and muscle, which is the target of a new therapeutic approach described in Nature Medicine
 (online, 5 October 2014).

Shengkan Jin, from Rutgers University, New Jersey, and colleagues evaluated a derivative of the anthelmintic drug niclosamide, which acts through mitochondrial uncoupling. Niclosamide ethanolamine salt (NEN) prevented and treated hepatic steatosis, improved glycaemic control and delayed disease progression in genetic and dietary mouse models of diabetes.

“Given the well-documented safety profile of NEN, our study provides a potentially new and practical pharmacological approach for treating type 2 diabetes,” says the team. 



[1] Tao H, Zhang Y, Zeng X et al. Niclosamide ethanolamine–induced mild mitochondrial uncoupling improves diabetic symptoms in mice. Nature Medicine 2014. doi:10.1038/nm.3699 (accessed 5 October 2014).

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 18 October 2014, Vol 293, No 7832;293(7832):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20066755