Scientists say the innovative drug, known as MK2, could be added to metformin, the current first-line treatment for the illness, to create a super-pill, the Daily Express reported.
This would effectively have double the potency of either drug to control insulin and glucose levels if taken on their own.
The experts believe the combined drug would be especially useful in treating seriously over-weight patients as it prevents insulin cells "burning out" as they try to cope with obesity.
The drug may also stop those who are in the early stages of the illness - a condition known as "pre-diabetes" - from getting it, according to the research.
The findings are published in the journal Cell Metabolism.