When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

30 April 2005

Dose up with lizard spit

enrevanche reader and friend moonpath sends a link to this intriguing article from the Washington Post (free registration required; bugmenot works):
Type 2 diabetics got a new option to help control their blood sugar Friday, a drug derived from the saliva of the Gila monster--but one that must be injected twice a day.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Byetta, known chemically as exenatide, the first in a new class of medications for Type 2 diabetes-- but for now, it's supposed to be used together with older diabetes drugs, not alone.

Makers Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly & Co. said the prescription drug would begin selling by June 1, but wouldn't provide a price.

The mind reels. I need to do some further research and digging here. Who was the bright boy (or girl) who came up with the idea of shooting diabetics full of lizard spit? (And what was he or she smoking, and where can I get some?)

Was there an epidemic of Gila monsters biting Type II diabetics, who then noticed that their blood glucose readings went down? (The name "Byetta," reminiscent of "bite," suggests this origin.)

I also need to contact Amylin's public relations department, as I know the perfect location for their first Byetta promotion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John Eng was the person who came up with it, and more detail on the scientific process involved can be found at several of the top hits in this Google search.