Could a platypus hold the key to diabetes treatment?
Could a platypus hold the key to diabetes treatment?

Platypus venom key to diabetes breakthrough

AN ICONIC Mackay attraction could hold the key to a new diabetes treatment.

Researchers are working to create a breakthrough drug from platypus venom that is potentially more effective than current Type 2 diabetes medication.

The all-important chemical being studied is a metabolic hormone found in the venom and gut of the platypus called GLP-1.

A similar form of the hormone is secreted in humans and stimulates the release of insulin to lower blood glucose that degrades in under three minutes.

But scientists running a genome project nearly a decade ago discovered the platypus version of GLP-1, due to evolutionary processes, was much more potent.

Bolstered by a recent $200,000 grant from a company wholly owned by the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, a band of South Australian researchers from multiple science disciplines and universities will now push the world-first discovery to the next stage.