Clinical trial of a drug developed from the saliva of a particular type of venomous lizard has shown it helps keep blood sugar level under control and may help lose weight and cure type 2 diabetes, a scientist said.
The drug known as Byetta was developed from the saliva of the Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum), a lizard native to South America.
The lizard's venom contains insulin-secreting properties and resembles a naturally occurring hormone found in the human stomach, reported the online edition of Radio Australia.
When Byetta is injected into humans it causes an enhancement of glucose-induced insulin secretion, Royal Brisbane Hospital endocrinologist Michael d'Emden said.
"So as your sugar level goes up after a meal, this molecule stimulates the insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas, to secrete more insulin and keep your sugar levels under control," he said.