Abstract The metabolic syndrome, defined as a cluster of visceral obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and elevated blood pressure, is associated with pro-thrombotic, pro-atherogenic and inflammatory risk factors that predispose to cardiovascular disease. Although activators of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARα,γ,δ) in various combinations are under development for treating the metabolic syndrome, they are hampered by adverse effects related to increased adipogenesis, weight gain, fluid overload and carcinogenesis. The recent discovery that telmisartan and irbesartan, antihypertensive angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1-R) blockers (ARBs), were uniquely capable of activating PPARγ, has provided a novel approach to addressing the multifactorial components of the metabolic syndrome. Both drugs have established favorable safety profiles and can activate PPARγ at concentrations potentially achievable at therapeutic doses. Emerging studies have revealed that both these drugs have beneficial metabolic profiles. This information provides a strategic rationale and pharmacological platform for the development of novel dual ARB/PPARγ agonists to target the metabolic syndrome and its cardiovascular sequelae, for which therapy is presently insufficient or non-existent. Beneficial effects of these agents include increased energy expenditure, improved lipid profile, increased insulin sensitivity, blood pressure reduction, and amelioration of the associated pro-inflammatory and pro-atherogenic risk profiles. The potential benefit for treatment of the metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular protection, and prevention of related end-organ complications could be of immense clinical value.