Exenatide, sold under the brand name Byetta, is the first in a groundbreaking class of drugs called incretin mimetics (they're structurally similar to your body's incretin hormones and mimic their effects).
What Are Incretins?
Research has shown that people with type 2 diabetes produce lower than normal amounts of incretins, a group of hormones made in the intestine.
Incretins help regulate blood glucose, especially after meals. Incretins are released into the bloodstream from specialized cells in the intestine in response to a meal. The incretin hormones stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin, lessen the desire to eat more, slow stomach emptying, and decrease the levels of a hormone made in the alpha cells of the pancreas called glucagon that raises blood glucose levels.