Aims: The aim of this study is to provide an overview of several emerging anti-diabetic
Background: Diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder involving the dysregulation of glucose homeostasis
at various levels. Insulin, which is produced by β-pancreatic cells, is a chief regulator of glucose
metabolism, regulating its consumption within cells, which leads to energy generation or storage as glycogen.
Abnormally low insulin secretion from β-cells, insulin insensitivity, and insulin tolerance lead to
higher plasma glucose levels, resulting in metabolic complications. The last century has witnessed extraordinary
efforts by the scientific community to develop anti-diabetic drugs, and these efforts have resulted
in the discovery of exogenous insulin and various classes of oral anti-diabetic drugs.
Objective: Despite these exhaustive anti-diabetic pharmaceutical and therapeutic efforts, long-term
glycemic control, hypoglycemic crisis, safety issues, large-scale economic burden and side effects remain
the core problems.
Methods: The last decade has witnessed the development of various new classes of anti-diabetic drugs
with different pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles. Details of their FDA approvals and
advantages/disadvantages are summarized in this review.
Results: The salient features of insulin degludec, sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors, glucokinase
activators, fibroblast growth factor 21 receptor agonists, and GLP-1 agonists are discussed.
Conclusion: In the future, these new anti-diabetic drugs may have broad clinical applicability. Additional
multicenter clinical studies on these new drugs should be conducted.