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Target-based drug discovery has become the prevailing paradigm used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. This
approach is attractive as it holds the promise of identifying newer and more-efficacious compounds with fewer undesirable
side effects. Target identification and validation technologies form a critical foundation for modern drug discovery. These
approaches provide a rich source of intellectual property and can be valuable competitive differentiators for companies seeking
proprietary positions for drugs that act through novel mechanisms. Inhibiting sodium?glucose co-transporters (SGLTs), which
have a key role in the reabsorption of glucose in kidney, has been proposed as a novel therapeutic strategy for diabetes. The
development of inhibitors targeted against SGLTs grew out of experiments with the compound phlorizin, which was first isolated
in the 1800s and was found to improve blood glucose levels in laboratory animals. While SGLT2 has been established as a
potential target for diabetes, SGLT1 has not shown much effectiveness against diabetes. However, our recent data indicated that
SGLT1 highly expressed in heart and plays an important role in cardiomyopathy. In the mammalian heart, glucose transport is
believed to be mediated mainly by two members of the GLUT family, GLUT1 and GLUT4. Whereas GLUT1 is regarded as a basal
glucose transporter, GLUT4 is upregulated in response to insulin and mechanical work. In addition to the GLUT family, members
of the sodium/glucose cotransporter (SGLT1) mediates glucose uptake in normal and disease heart. Although SGLT1 is highly
expressed in the heart, its cardiac function has been investigated recently. I will discuss my journey to find a novel target, SGLT1,
for the opportunity to develop drugs against cardiomyopathies and heart failure.
Sanjay K Banerjee has completed his Ph.D in 2003 from Division of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and postdoctoral
studies from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, USA (2003-2005) and University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA (2005-2009). He is a
Scientist and Ramalingaswami Fellow (DBT, Govt. of India), in the Division of Pharmacology, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad.
He is also a guest faculty in NIPER, Hyderabad. He has published more than 30 papers in reputed journals. He is member of D&CVD, a study group
of European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).
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