Tuesday January 21, 2020

New Medicine That Could Replace Insulin Injections

The tip of the needle is made of nearly 100 per cent compressed, freeze-dried insulin. 

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diabities
The tip of the needle is made of nearly 100 per cent compressed, freeze-dried insulin. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a drug capsule that could be used to deliver oral doses of insulin, potentially replacing injections for patients with Type-2 diabetes, says a new study.

About the size of a blueberry, the capsule contains a single and small needle made of compressed insulin, which is injected after the capsule reaches the stomach.

The study showed that the capsule could deliver enough insulin to lower blood sugar to levels comparable to those produced by injections given through skin. They also demonstrated that the device can be adapted to deliver other protein drugs.

diabities
About the size of a blueberry, the capsule contains a single and small needle made of compressed insulin, which is injected after the capsule reaches the stomach. VOA

“We are really hopeful that this new type of capsule could someday help diabetic patients and perhaps anyone who requires therapies that can now only be given by injection or infusion,” said Robert Langer, Professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in Britain.

The tip of the needle is made of nearly 100 per cent compressed, freeze-dried insulin.

When the capsule is swallowed, water in the stomach dissolves the sugar disk, releasing the spring and injecting the needle into the stomach wall.

The stomach wall has no pain receptors, so the patients would not be able to feel the prick of the injection. To ensure that the drug is injected into the stomach wall, the researchers designed their system so that no matter how the capsule lands in the stomach, it can orient itself so the needle is in contact with the lining of the stomach.

The findings, published in the journal Science, showed that the researchers could successfully deliver up to 300 micrograms of insulin.

insulin
The type of drug delivery could be useful for any protein drug that normally has to be injected, such as immunosuppressants used to treat rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease and may also work for nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA, according to the researchers. Pixabay

More recently, they have been able to increase the dose to 5 milligrams, which is comparable to the amount that a patient with Type-2 diabetes would need to inject.

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Furthermore, no adverse effects from the capsule was found, which is made from biodegradable polymer and stainless steel components.

Importantly, this type of drug delivery could be useful for any protein drug that normally has to be injected, such as immunosuppressants used to treat rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease and may also work for nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA, according to the researchers. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Develop Non-Fibrillating Form of Human Insulin to Treat Diabetes

Typically, the chemical modification of insulin causes structural destabilisation and inactivation

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Diabetes
The discovery of glycoinsulin presents a promising solution for patients of diabetes. Pixabay

 In a promising discovery that could improve the clinical delivery of insulin for people living with diabetes, researchers have developed a non-fibrillating form of human insulin.

Using a novel glycosylation technique, the research team from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Australia, has successfully synthesised an insulin analogue called glycoinsulin that demonstrates the same glucose-lowering effects as native insulin in preclinical studies without fibril formation.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, said that fibrils can arise when insulin compounds aggregate together forming clumps.

For people with diabetes who rely on pump infusions to administer insulin, fibrils pose serious risk in blocking the delivery of insulin which can potentially lead to life threatening under-dosing, it added.

The discovery of glycoinsulin presents a promising solution for patients.

“Not only did our research demonstrate that glycoinsulin does not form fibrils, even at high temperature and concentration, but also that it is more stable in human serum than native insulin,” said study researcher Akhter Hossain.

“Together, these findings could position glycoinsulin as an excellent candidate for use in insulin pumps and a way to improve the shelf life of insulin products,” Hossain added. “We now hope to streamline the manufacturing process for glycoinsulin so this compound can be further investigated in larger, clinical studies,” he added.

Over 25,000 people in Australia and 350,000 people in the US use insulin pumps as part of their diabetes management. In what can cause significant patient burden and medicine wastage, insulin pump infusion sets are required to be replaced every 24-72 hours to mitigate the occurrence of fibrils.

Diabetes
In a promising discovery that could improve the clinical delivery of insulin for people living with diabetes, researchers have developed a non-fibrillating form of human insulin. Pixabay

Critical to the success of the study was the engineering of an insulin-sugar complex from egg yolks using a method jointly developed by collaborators, Associate Professor Ryo Okamoto and Professor Yasuhiro Kajihara, from Osaka University, Japan.

“Typically, the chemical modification of insulin causes structural destabilisation and inactivation, but we were able to successfully synthesise glycoinsulin in a way that retains its insulin-like helical structure,” said study co-author John Wade.

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“The result is an almost fully active insulin analogue which has demonstrated near-native binding to insulin receptors in both lab and animal studies,” Wade added. (IANS)