The global burden of type 2 diabetes is increasing worldwide, and successful treatment of this disease needs constant provision of new drugs. Twelve classes of antidiabetic drugs are currently available, and many new drugs are under clinical development. These include compounds with known mechanisms of action but unique properties, such as once-weekly DPP4 inhibitors or oral insulin. They also include drugs with new mechanisms of action, the focus of this review. Most of these compounds are in Phase 1 and 2, with only a small number having made it to Phase 3 at this time. The new drug classes described include PPAR agonists/modulators, glucokinase activators, glucagon receptor antagonists, anti-inflammatory compounds, G-protein coupled receptor agonists, gastrointestinal peptide agonists other than GLP-1, apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT) inhibitors, SGLT1 and dual SGLT1/SGLT2 inhibitors, and 11beta- HSD1 inhibitors.