Fermentation for Antidiabetic Agents

BOC Sciences is a leading fermentation CDMO and we provide custom fermentation services for the development of antidiabetic agents. With a large scale fermentation facility that complies with GMP quality systems and over 20 years of experience in microbial drug development, we provide solutions for the development and biomanufacturing of a wide range of antidiabetic molecules, serving our global partners in large pharmaceutical, biotech and biopharma companies.

What is Fermented Antidiabetic Agents?

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder characterized by chronic hyperglycemia with disturbances in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. The effects of diabetes mellitus include long-term damage, dysfunction and failure of various organs. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, which accounts for more than 90% of diagnosed cases of DM in adults, and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Natural products have been shown to have health benefits in animals and humans. Secondary metabolites of plant origin, including phenols, steroids, alkaloids, carbohydrates, and glycosides, have a variety of beneficial biological properties in humans, such as their antidiabetic activity.

To date, most antidiabetic natural products have been reported to be isolated from plants. Research on new antidiabetic drugs from natural plants remains attractive as an alternative and safe treatment for diabetes. Most plants contain bioactive components such as phenols, alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, carotenoids, which can be modified to have antidiabetic activity. In contrast, the antidiabetic activity of natural products from bacteria and fungi has been less studied, but may hold great promise in the future search for new antidiabetic agents.

Fermentation Production of Antidiabetic Agents

Genetic manipulation

Many secondary metabolism-derived and natural molecules are usually present in small amounts inside cells. Biotechnology promises to increase the production of these natural antidiabetic molecules, and enhancing the expression of genes associated with the synthesis of these metabolites is an obvious way forward.


Biotransformation of compounds provided in the culture medium by tissue culture into plant secondary metabolites with antidiabetic activity. Substrates are converted to different substrates in this process by the activity of plant enzymes. Biotransformation is a possible technique for the production of new active ingredients or modification of natural and artificial compounds.


Antidiabetic secondary metabolites of microbial origin can usually be produced by solid-state fermentation and submerged fermentation. The yield of secondary metabolites in microorganisms can be increased by strain improvement and optimization of fermentation conditions, and large scale production of target metabolites can be achieved after reasonable fermentation process scale-up. In addition, recombinant microbial strains can also be used for fermentative production of secondary metabolites usually found in plants.

Classification of Fermented Antidiabetic Agents

Anti-diabetic reagents can be classified as thiazolidinediones, biguanides, α-glucosidase inhibitors, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, sulfonylureas, glinides, etc.

  • Thiazolidinediones

Thiazolidinediones are a class of heterocyclic compounds consisting of five-membered C₃NS rings that are used in the control and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Thiazolidinediones are widely found in nature in various forms. Typically, thiazolidinediones have a high affinity for PPARγ receptors and increase the expression and secretion of lipocalin hormones in adipocytes, thereby inhibiting insulin resistance.

  • α-Glucosidase inhibitors

α-Glucosidase inhibitors, such as acarbose, miglitol and voglibose, which can be derived from plants or microorganisms (including bacteria and fungi). α-Glucosidase inhibitors have a high affinity for α-glucosidase, a hydrolytic enzyme that stimulates the breakdown of disaccharides and oligosaccharides.

  • DPP-4 Inhibitors

DPP-4 inhibitors, such as sitagliptin, linagliptin, and saxagliptin, which are chemically synthesized but also present in natural resources, exert antidiabetic effects by affecting glucose-dependent insulin secretion.

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