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Researchers Working On a Drug That Can Effectively Treat Metabolic Syndrome

Update Date: Jul 04, 2014 09:04 AM EDT

Researchers have discovered that an enzyme involved in intracellular signaling plays a crucial role in developing metabolic syndrome, according to a new study. The findings have led a U of U spinoff company to develop the drug that can treat the condition. 

Researchers hope to begin human clinical trials of the drug in the next couple of years. 

"The approved drug therapies do not treat or prevent this condition in most people," said Jared Rutter, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and senior author of a study in the press release. "But given the results of our research with mouse and rat models, we are hopeful that metabolic syndrome can be effectively treated with drug therapy someday soon."

Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that increases the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke. It is estimated to affect up to 25 percent of adults. According to public health officials, metabolic syndrome has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and elsewhere.

Metabolic syndrome comprises of disorders such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, abnormal cholesterol readings and obesity. Another prominent feature of the syndrome is the excessive production and storage of fatty acids and triglycerides. 

"We hope that this is an example where science leads us not only to a better understanding of how the body works, but also to the discovery of approaches that we can use to treat human disease," Rutter added in the press release. 

The research has been published July 3, 2014, in Cell Reports. 

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