Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an incretin hormone that has undergone a revolutionary turnaround from discovery to clinically approved therapeutic. Rapid progress in drug design and formulation has led from initial development of short- and long-acting drugs suitable for daily or weekly parenteral administration, respectively, through to the most recent approval of an orally active GLP-1 agent. The current review outlines the biological action profile of GLP-1 including the various beneficial metabolic responses in pancreatic and extra-pancreatic tissues, including the gastrointestinal tract, liver, bone and kidney as well as the reproductive cardiovascular and CNS. We then briefly consider clinically approved GLP-1 receptor ligands and recent advances in this field. Given the sustained evolution in the area of GLP-1 drug development and excellent safety profile, as well as the plethora of metabolic benefits, clinical approval for use in diseases beyond diabetes and obesity is very much conceivable.
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© 2021 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Pharmacological Society.