Posts Tagged ‘SGLT’

Novartis – Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Curator



LIK 066, NOVARTIS, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes




C23 H28 O7 . 2 C6 H11 N O, 642.7795

(1S)-1,5-Anhydro-1-[3-(2,3-dihydro-1,4-benzodioxin-6-ylmethyl)-4-ethylphenyl]-D-glucitol bis[1-[(2S)-pyrrolidin-2-yl]ethanone]

(2S,3R,4R,5S,6R)-2-[3-(2,3-Dihydro-benzo[1,4]dioxin-6-ylmethyl)-4- ethyl-phenyl]-6-hydroxymethyl-tetrahydro-pyran-3,4,5-triol

Sodium glucose transporter-2 inhibitor

SGLT 1/2 inhibitor


Novartis Ag innovator

LIK-066 is in phase II clinical studies at Novartis for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

In June 2014, the EMA’s PDCO adopted a positive opinion on a pediatric investigation plan (PIP) for LIK-066 for type 2 diabetes


Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by recurrent or persistent hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) and other signs, as distinct from a single disease or condition. Glucose level abnormalities can result in serious long-term complications, which include cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure, retinal damage, nerve damage (of several kinds), microvascular damage and obesity.

Type 1 diabetes, also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM), is characterized by loss of the insulin-producing β-cells of the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas leading to a deficiency of insulin. Type-2 diabetes previously known as adult- onset diabetes, maturity-onset diabetes, or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) – is due to a combination of increased hepatic glucose output, defective insulin secretion, and insulin resistance or reduced insulin sensitivity (defective responsiveness of tissues to insulin). Chronic hyperglycemia can also lead to onset or progression of glucose toxicity characterized by decrease in insulin secretion from β-cell, insulin sensitivity; as a result diabetes mellitus is self-exacerbated [Diabetes Care, 1990, 13, 610].

Chronic elevation of blood glucose level also leads to damage of blood vessels. In diabetes, the resultant problems are grouped under “microvascular disease” (due to damage of small blood vessels) and “macro vascular disease” (due to damage of the arteries). Examples of microvascular disease include diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy, while examples of macrovascular disease include coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and diabetic myonecrosis.

Diabetic retinopathy, characterized by the growth of weakened blood vessels in the retina as well as macular edema (swelling of the macula), can lead to severe vision loss or blindness. Retinal damage (from microangiopathy) makes it the most common cause of blindness among non-elderly adults in the US. Diabetic neuropathy is characterized by compromised nerve function in the lower extremities. When combined with damaged blood vessels, diabetic neuropathy can lead to diabetic foot. Other forms of diabetic neuropathy may present as mononeuritis or autonomic neuropathy. Diabetic nephropathy is characterized by damage to the kidney, which can lead to chronic renal failure, eventually requiring dialysis. Diabetes mellitus is the most common cause of l adult kidney failure worldwide. A high glycemic diet (i.e., a diet that consists of meals that give high postprandial blood sugar) is known to be one of the causative factors contributing to the development of obesity.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance and/or inadequate insulin secretion in response to elevated glucose level. Therapies for type 2 diabetes are targeted towards increasing insulin sensitivity (such as TZDs), hepatic glucose utilization (such as biguanides), directly modifying insulin levels (such as insulin, insulin analogs, and insulin secretagogues), increasing increttn hormone action (such as exenatide and sitagliptin), or inhibiting glucose absorption from the diet (such as alpha glucosidase inhibitors) [Nature 2001 , 414, 821-827],

Glucose is unable to diffuse across the cell membrane and requires transport proteins. The transport of glucose into epithelial cells is mediated by a secondary active cotransport system, the sodium-D-glucose co-transporter (SGLT), driven by a sodium- gradient generated by the Na+/K+-ATPase. Glucose accumulated in the epithelial cell is further transported into the blood across the membrane by facilitated diffusion through GLUT transporters [Kidney International 2007, 72, S27-S35].

SGLT belongs to the sodium/glucose co-transporter family SLCA5. Two different SGLT isoforms, SGLT1 and SGLT2, have been identified to mediate renal tubular glucose reabsorption in humans [Curr. Opinon in Investigational Drugs (2007): 8(4), 285-292 and references cited herein]. Both of them are characterized by their different substrate affinity. Although both of them show 59% homology in their amino acid sequence, they are functionally different. SGLT1 transports glucose as well as galactose, and is expressed both in the kidney and in the intestine, while SGLT2 is found exclusively in the S1 and S2 segments of the renal proximal tubule. As a consequence, glucose filtered in the glomerulus is reabsorbed into the renal proximal tubular epithelial cells by SGLT2, a low-affinity/high-capacity system, residing on the surface of epithelial cell lining in S1 and S2 tubular segments. Much smaller amounts of glucose are recovered by SGLT1 , as a high-affinity/low-capacity system, on the more distal segment of the proximal tubule. In healthy human, more than 99% of plasma glucose that is filtered in the kidney glomerulus is reabsorbed, resulting in less than 1 % of the total filtered glucose being excreted in urine. It is estimated that 90% of total renal glucose absorption is facilitated by SGLT2; remaining 10 % is likely mediated by SGLT1 [J. Parenter. Enteral Nutr. 2004, 28, 364-371]. SGLT2 was cloned as a candidate sodium glucose co-transporter, and its tissue distribution, substrate specificity, and affinities are reportedly very similar to those of the low-affinity sodium glucose co-transporter in the renal proximal tubule. A drug with a mode of action of SGLT2 inhibition will be a novel and complementary approach to existing classes of medication for diabetes and its associated diseases to meet the patient’s needs for both blood glucose control, while preserving insulin secretion. In addition, SGLT2 inhibitors which lead to loss of excess glucose (and thereby excess calories) may have additional potential for the treatment of obesity.

Indeed small molecule SGLT2 inhibitors have been discovered and the anti-diabetic therapeutic potential of such molecules has been reported in literature [T-1095 (Diabetes, 1999, 48, 1794-1800, Dapagliflozin (Diabetes, 2008, 57, 1723-1729)].

PATENT     WO 2011048112



H NMR (400 MHz, CD3OD): δ 1.07 (t, J = 7.6 Hz, 3H), 2.57 (q, J = 7.6 Hz, 2H), 3.34- 3.50 (m, 4H), 3.68 (dd, J = 12.0, 5.6 Hz, 1 H), 3.85-3.91 (m, 3H), 4.08 (d, J = 9.6 Hz, 1 H), 4.17 (s, 4H), 6.53-6.58 (m, 2H), 6.68 (d, J – 8.4 Hz, 1 H), 7.15-7.25 (m, 3H).

MS (ES) m z 434.2 (M+18).



Pediatric investigation plan (PIP) decision: (S)-Pyrrolidine-2-carboxylic acid compound with (2S,3R,4R,5S,6R)-2-(3-((2,3-dihydrobenzo[b][1,4]dioxin-6-yl)methyl)-4-ethylphenyl)-6-(hydroxymethyl)tetrahydro-2H-pyran-3,4,5-triol (2:1) ( LIK066) (EMEA-001527-PIP01-13)
European Medicines Agency (EMA) Web Site 2014, July 24

Safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) assessment of LIK066 in healthy subjects and in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (NCT01407003)
ClinicalTrials.gov Web Site 2011, August 07

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Overview of New Strategy for Treatment of T2DM: SGLT2 Inhibiting Oral Antidiabetic Agents


Author and Curator: Aviral Vatsa, PhD, MBBS

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic disease, which is affecting widespread populations in epidemic proportions across the globe 1. It is characterised by hyperglycemia, which if not controlled adequately, eventually leads to microvascular and metabolic complications (Fig 1). Traditionally, T2DM management includes alteration in lifestyle, oral hypoglycemic agents and/or insulin. The present pharmacological approaches predominantly target glucose metabolism by compensating for reduction in insulin secretion and/or insulin action. However, these approaches are often limited by inadequate glucose control and the the possibility of severe adverse effects such as hypoglycemia, weight gain, nausea, and sometimes lactic acidosis 2–4 (Fig 1). Hence the search for new drugs with different mechanism of action and with little side affects is key in providing better glycemic control in T2DM patients and hence offering better prognosis with reduced morbidity and mortality.

Figure 1 (credit: aviral vatsa): Short overview of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM): complications, present therapeutic approaches and their limitations.

Along with pancreas, our kidneys play a vital role in regulating glucose levels in the plasma. Under physiological conditions, kidneys absorb 99% of the plasma glucose filtered through the renal glomeruli tubules. Majority i.e. 80-90% of this renal glucose resorbtion is mediated via the sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) 5,6. SGLT2 is a high-capacity low-affinity transporter that is mainly located in the proximal segment S1 of the proximal convoluted tubule 6. Inhibition of SGLT2 activity can thus induce glucosuria which inturn can lower blood glucose levels without targeting insulin resistance and insulin secretion pathways of glucose modulation (Fig 2).

Figure 2 (credit: aviral vatsa): Schematic overview of regulation of plasma glucose by sodium glucose co-transporter (SGLT).

Thus inhibition of SGLT2 provides a novel way to modulate blood glucose levels and consequently limit long term complications of hyperglycemia 7,8. Moreover, SGLT2 inhibitors will selectively target the renal glucose transportation and spare the counter regulatory hormones involved in glucose metabolism because SGLT2 is almost exclusively located in the kidneys. This novel way of glucose modulation will likely avoid severe side affects, e.g. hypoglycemia and weight gain, that are seen with present antidiabetic pharmacological agents.

Agents currently under development

Table below gives an overview of the SGLT2 inhibotors in development.

(Credit: Chao et al 2010)


In summary, increasing urinary glucose excretion represents a new approach to addressing the challenge of hyperglycaemia. SGLT2 inhibitors may have indications both in the prevention and treatment of T2DM, and perhaps T1DM, with a possible application in obesity. Further studies in large numbers of human subjects are necessary to delineate efficacy, safety and how to most effectively use these agents in the treatment of diabetes.


  1. Diabetes Atlas. International Diabetes Federation, (2009) at <www.diabetesatlas.org>
  2. Intensive blood-glucose control with sulphonylureas or insulin compared with conventional treatment and risk of complications in patients with type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 33). UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) Group. Lancet 352, 837–853 (1998).
  3. Buse, J. B. et al. Effects of exenatide (exendin-4) on glycemic control over 30 weeks in sulfonylurea-treated patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 27, 2628–2635 (2004).
  4. Inzucchi, S. E. Oral antihyperglycemic therapy for type 2 diabetes: scientific review. JAMA 287, 360–372 (2002).
  5. Brown, G. K. Glucose transporters: Structure, function and consequences of deficiency. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 23, 237–246 (2000).
  6. Wright, E. M. Renal Na+-glucose cotransporters. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 280, F10–F18 (2001).
  7. Chao, E. C. & Henry, R. R. SGLT2 inhibition — a novel strategy for diabetes treatment. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 9, 551–559 (2010).
  8. Ferrannini, E. & Solini, A. SGLT2 inhibition in diabetes mellitus: rationale and clinical prospects. Nature Reviews Endocrinology 8, 495–502 (2012).


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