The small intestine contains multiple receptors and transporters for simple sugars. These receptors both sense the nutrient content of an ingested meal and mediate the direct transport of the sugars.
Interest in the function of intestinal sugar receptors and transporters has been heightened recently by the remarkable results seen with gastric bypass surgery. Many morbidly obese patients treated with gastric bypass surgery see a rapid resolution of their Type II diabetes, even before significant weight loss has occurred. It is thought that the surgery bypasses critical receptors in the small intestine, dramatically altering the body´s hormonal response to ingested food.
Avaxia is developing oral antibodies to modulate sugar transporters and receptors in the small intestine. The goal of this program is to modulate the response to ingested sugars, potentially achieving some of the benefits seen in gastric bypass surgery. Such antibodies would be expected to be effective in the treatment of obesity and Type II diabetes.