Anti-diabetic drug is anti-tuberculosis too


Scientists from Singapore Immunology Network(SIgN), A*STAR have discovered that the widely-used anti-diabetic drug, Metformin, can also be used for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB). They found out that Metformin can enhance the efficacy of TB medication without inducing drug resistance.

Metformin can indirectly control Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (bacteria that causes TB) replication by triggering the host cells to produce a chemical which damages the bacteria. The scientists validated these findings with patient data provided by the Tuberculosis Clinical Unit at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital. “Using MET as an adjunct treatment for TB is very promising since this drug interferes with the biochemical pathway essential for the bacteria’s survival and does not promote the development of drug resistance. MET is also a very cheap and safe drug with no adverse effect on non-diabetic patients. This would likely shorten clinical trials and we are confident that a better and affordable TB treatment will be made available soon,” said lead scientists Dr Amit Singhal, Project Leader and Prof Gennaro De Libero, Principal Investigator at SIgN.


The above story is based on materials provided by A*STAR.

The published article can be read here.

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Scientist-entrepreneur-manager-journalist: -Co-founder, Author; Former Assistant Editor and Director, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; -Founder & CEO, SciGlo (; -Programme Management Officer, SBIC, A*STAR (former Research Fellow). --Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. She is currently working as a Programme Management Officer handling projects and grants at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Earlier to this she was a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at SBIC. Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists - SciGlo ( and is a startup mentor at Vertical VC (Finland). She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.