News in brief: Men can develop PCOS like condition; Once-weekly insulin shows promise in early trials; New therapeutic target for diabetes induced heart failure 

Wednesday, 24 Mar 2021

Men can develop PCOS like condition 

Genetic evidence suggests men can develop a PCOS like condition, throwing into doubt the role of ovaries in the condition.

Using genetic data from 176,360 men the researchers found that men who had a high genetic risk score for PCOS had increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and male-pattern baldness.

Because men do not have ovaries, the authors say their findings show for the first time that the primary cause of PCOS may not be linked to the ovaries.

“The treatment of PCOS is limited by our incomplete understanding of the disorder,” said lead researcher Jia Zhu, M.D., of Boston Children’s Hospital. “Identifying the different causes for PCOS provides insights into the mechanisms of disease and is the first step in identifying future targets for treatment of the disorder.”

The study was presented virtually at ENDO 2021, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting.

Once-weekly insulin shows promise in early trials 

An investigational once-weekly basal insulin injection has demonstrated similar efficacy and safety and lower rates of hypoglycaemia in people with type 2 diabetes compared with a daily basal insulin.

The 32-week phase 2 trial randomised 399 patients with type 2 diabetes who had previously used basal insulin and oral diabetes medications to to one of three treatment groups: once-weekly injections of basal insulin Fc (BIF) at one of two different dosing algorithms or the standard once-daily injections of insulin degludec. 

At the start of the trial participants had an average A1c of 8.1 percent and at its end had an average improvement in A1c of 0.6 percent for BIF compared to 0.7 percent for insulin degludec. BIF use also resulted in significantly lower rates of hypoglycemia (less than 70 mg/dL). 

The trial was sponsored by Eli Lilly and presented at ENDO21

New therapeutic target for diabetes induced heart failure

Researchers have discovered a therapeutic target which could potentially treat diabetes induced heart failure.

In a pre-clinical animal model of diabetes-induced heart failure the team from Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Baker IDI found cardiac dysfunction and remodelling were reduced when they modified the O-GlcNAc myocardial protein. 

“There are currently no specific treatment options to manage diabetic cardiomyopathy, so we’re very excited by the discovery of a potential therapeutic target which could reduce heart failure, and may improve the quality of life, for those living with diabetes,”says lead corresponding author Professor Rebeca Ritchie. 

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