Use of Englerin A, a Small Molecule HSF1 Activator, for the Treatment of Diabetes, Obesity, and Other Diseases Associated with Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a causative factor for type 2 diabetes, obesity and a number of other conditions. This technology claims methods for treating diseases or conditions associated with insulin resistance using the small molecule epoxy-guaiane derivative englerin A and related compounds. The compounds are claimed separately in a related NIH technology.

The inventors have shown that englerin A, a compound originally isolated from the Phyllanthus plant and previously identified as an anti-cancer agent, can also be used to treat insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is associated with reduced gene expression and production of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70). Using a mouse with tumor model, the inventors discovered that administration of englerin A decreases blood glucose levels by activating transcription of HSF1, thereby increasing the expression and secretion of HSP70. Thus, englerin A and related compounds represent potential drugs for the treatment of a variety of conditions associated with insulin resistance.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
Treatment of diseases or conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, inflammation, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary disease, arteriosclerosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, reproductive abnormality of a female, and growth abnormality.   Use of small-molecule compounds targeting HSF1 represents a novel approach to the treatment of type 2 diabetes and other conditions caused by insulin resistance.

Leonard Neckers (NCI)

Intellectual Property:
US Application No. 61/584,526
PCT Application No. PCT/US13/20051

Collaboration Opportunity:

The NCI Urologic Oncology Branch is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize epoxyguaianes as anti-type 2 diabetes agents. For collaboration opportunities, please contact John Hewes, Ph.D. at

Licensing Contact:
Tara Kirby , Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
Phone: 301-435-4426

OTT Reference No: E-042-2012/0

Updated: Mar-23-2012