Glucagon therapeutics: Dawn of a new era for diabetes care

Jaime A. Davidson, William L Holland, Michael G Roth, May-Yun Wang, Young H Lee, Xinxin Yu, Sara K. McCorkle, Philipp E Scherer, Roger H Unger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Although insulin monotherapy prevents death from ketoacidosis, it does not prevent either the hyperglycemic surges or the hypoglycemic plunges of glucose levels that plague the majority of patients with type 1 diabetes. However, significant improvements have occurred with the combination of continuous insulin delivery matched by continuous glucose monitoring, but the technology is not available for all patients, requires extensive education, is expensive and moreover, while much better than standard care, it almost never reduces haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) to below 6%. This may indicate that an improved diabetes therapy involving antagonism of glucagon action will for the first time control glucose levels to normal and eradicate the long-term complications of diabetes. Although one can never predict that results in animals will be reproduced in humans, the available evidence suggests that patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes may expect far superior control of the metabolic abnormalities without the need for significant monitoring of glucose, a very important but expensive part of any insulin regimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)660-665
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • diabetes
  • glucagon
  • glucagon receptor
  • haemoglobin A
  • insulin
  • treatment of diabetes
  • type 1 and type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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