University of Washington Professor Hop Molecule Discovery Could Benefit Diabetes & Obesity Drug Development

January 28th, 2013 · No Comments · General Beer News

I love hops. It turns out science does, too.

Werner Kaminsky, a chemistry professor at the University of Washington, recently studied the molecule called humulone, which is found in the alpha acids of hops.  According to this story in The Daily of the University of Washington, Kaminsky’s research found a variation in the structure of humulone that could have a “huge effect on how the molecule works in pharmaceuticals”. The variation, known as “handedness”, is key to figuring out how the structure aligns and how the compound binds.

More from The Daily article:

Kaminsky’s research was conducted for a Seattle-based pharmaceutical company called KinDex Therapeutics, which is working to use this molecule in a therapeutic drug to treat people with glucose management issues and insulin sensitivity. The company is now performing more trials of this molecule for use in treatment.

“The discovery of the handedness, or the absolute stereochemistry, has profound implications for the use,” said Brian Carroll, director of chemistry at KinDex. “So when you know the absolute stereochemistry, you can use that information to design new and improved compounds that may be even better in terms of their therapeutic effects.”

This discovery comes a month or so after it was reported that Japanese researchers had discovered that the same humulone compound can help fight cold and flu symptoms.

It seems that scientists are figuring out something that many of us already know: hops are awesome.

Visit The Daily to see the full story.


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