Targeting Gut Bugs could Revolutionize Future Drugs, say Researchers
News Feb 04, 2008
Revolutionary new ways to tackle certain diseases could be provided by creating drugs which change the bugs in people's guts, according to a Perspective article published in the journal Nature Reviews Drug Discovery.
Trillions of bugs known as gut microbes live symbiotically in the human gut. They play a key role in many of the processes that take place inside the body. Different people have different types of gut microbes living inside them and abnormalities in some types have recently been linked to diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
The authors of the Perspective argue that targeting gut microbes with new drug therapies, rather than concentrating on the mechanisms in the human body which are the current focus of most drug development programmes, could provide an array of uncharted possibilities for fighting disease. Much research is still needed to untangle the precise role played by each different type of bug.
Professor Jeremy Nicholson, one of the authors of the Perspective from the Department of Biomolecular Medicine at Imperial College London, explained: "It's only recently that we've discovered the huge influence that bugs in the gut have on people's health. The exciting thing about this is that it should be easier to create drugs that can change the bugs than it is to re-engineer human cells and signalling pathways inside the body. Also, if we're not interfering with the body's pathways, these drugs should have less toxic side-effects."
Research has already shown that the makeup of an individual's gut microbes is affected by their diet and other environmental factors. A recent study led by scientists from Imperial College showed that it is possible to alter the makeup of bugs in a mouse's gut, affecting their metabolism, using probiotics.
"We already know that external factors such as altering your diet can change the makeup of the bugs in your gut, so these kinds of therapies will mean a more holistic approach to medicine, looking not just at pharmaceutical treatments but also at lifestyle and nutrition. I think that in ten years' time it will be normal for scientists to take gut bugs into consideration when they are creating new medicines," added Professor Nicholson.
Modified Form of Botox Could Replace Opioids as Treatment for Chronic PainNews
A modified form of botulinum toxin gives long-lasting pain relief in mice without adverse effects and, in time, could replace opioid drugs as a safe and effective way of treating chronic pain, according to new research.READ MORE
Key Ingredient in Diabetes Drug Modified to Improve Side EffectsNews
Improved medications for Type 2 diabetes are one step closer thanks to a new discovery reported this week. By modifying the key ingredient in current diabetes drugs, the researchers produced a compound that was effective for hyperglycemia in animal trials, yet without the most problematic side effects of current drugs.READ MORE
Tackling Cancer at Ground Zero: Designer Molecule Inhibits Protein TargetNews
A new molecule designed by University of Adelaide researchers shows great promise for future treatment of many cancers. The new molecule successfully targets a protein that plays a major role in the growth of most cancers.READ MORE
5th edition of the International Conference Clinical Oncology and Molecular Diagnostics
Jun 17 - Jun 18, 2019