Bristol-Myers Squibb: Metabolics

The term metabolics describes a wide range of biochemical processes derived from the core pathways of metabolism that are involved in the body's normal functioning. A metabolic disorder occurs when these processes are disrupted in some manner. Our work in this therapeutic area focuses closely on glucose- or blood sugar-related metabolic disorders, i.e., diabetes mellitus and its complications.


Type 2 diabetes, the more prevalent form of diabetes, is a chronic disease that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it produces, leading to an increased concentration of glucose or sugar in the blood. It also represents a rapidly growing global health threat to children as well as adults.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide have diabetes and predicts that this number will more than double by 2030 if current trends continue. The world’s growing obesity problem is accelerating this epidemic, as people who are overweight or obese are at greater risk of developing diabetes.

We take a holistic approach to diabetes drug development that encompasses both the chronic disease itself and its interrelated conditions, such as obesity as a disease modifying factor for diabetes, nerve damage (neuropathy), eye damage (retinopathy) and kidney damage (nephropathy). We seek to develop medicines that can make an impact on multiple targets, helping patients with the basic goal of maintaining blood sugar control while also taking aim at one or more of the disease’s related complications. Diabetes-related obesity represents a particularly urgent challenge, as obesity also increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke. Making sure that diabetes drugs are safe for the heart and potentially even beneficial in terms of cardiovascular function is another important area of our research.

A long-time innovator in the development of diabetes therapies, Bristol-Myers Squibb is building upon that legacy by discovering and developing new and innovative compounds to help address the substantial unmet medical needs that remain.


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