Diabetes and Obesity Drug Discovery & Therapy

During the past two decades, diabetes has become one of the most alarming public health problems. The rapid increase in the prevalence of obesity, type-2 diabetes and associated complications (diabesity) is a major global health problem worldwide.

Evolution suggests the inevitability of the passage of "thrifty genes" from generation to generation, providing protection during times of famine but predisposing the carriers of these genes to obesity and type 2 diabetes in times of plenty. The close relationship of obesity and type 2 diabetes with a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors has produced the terms "diabesity" and "metabolic syndrome."

Diabesity is a challenging condition that requires an integrated understanding of diabetes and obesity, as well as a coherent management plan that will drive forward effective measures for both prevention and intervention. To prevent and treat diabesity, there is a need to develop approaches to modulate the ways in which the body controls metabolism, body weight and composition.

The conference brought together basic and clinical scientists aiming at identifying new factors implicated in obesity and diabetes, and to develop strategies for validating these factors as targets for future pharmacological manipulation, as well as identifying possibly several new drug targets for the treatment and prevention of diabesity. There is undoubtedly much still to learn about diabetes and obesity.