A subset of patients with type 2 diabetes taking the asthma drug Amlexanox for 12 weeks had a clinically significant reduction in blood glucose, according to a study in Cell Metabolism reported by Medical News Today.

Amlexanox is an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic drug used to treat asthma that was developed in the 1980s in Japan.

The drug is an inhibitor of two enzymes, IKK? and TBK1. In previous studies, researchers had discovered that these two enzymes are induced in obese mice, causing a drop in energy expenditure or reduction in calories burned. This prompted them to look for inhibitors of these enzymes by screening a library of 150,000 chemicals. They found amlexanox. Giving obese mice the inhibitor caused them to lose weight, while their sensitivity to insulin increased, improving their diabetes and fatty liver disease.

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