Treatment

Insulin in a Pill?

Amy Tenderich Health Guide June 15, 2006
  • Reprinted with permission from Amy Tenderich of www.diabetesmine.com.

    Why don’t we have insulin in a pill? Because the stomach digests it before it gets into the bloodstream. Pharmaceutical companies have long been working to overcome this barrier, but until now, the little bit that made it into the bloodstream was insufficient to make a difference. Until now… maybe, hopefully! Clinical trial results on a new insulin pill called Intesulin have just been released showing that it is 60-70% as effective as injected insulin. It lowered glucose levels comparably, and kept those levels steady for patients throughout the day.

    At the American Diabetes Association conference this weekend, Coremed, Inc. announced new clinical trial results on Intesulin in two “proof of principle” studies with Type 2 diabetics. In both studies, Intesulin was compared to a placebo (“blank” pill) also to Aspart analog (short-acting injected) insulin. Patients showed a significant decline in C-peptide and rise in insulin levels, meaning their insulin resistance was being suppressed. Intesulin has a first insulin peak at 30 minutes, compared to Aspart, which peaks at 60 minutes. Overall, patients showed an average decline of 30% in their daily average glucose levels. There wasn’t a single incidence of gastrointestinal irritations, adverse effects or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), the company reports.

    Last year, Coremed, Inc. also signed a joint venture partnership agreement with China-based Wanbang and Fosun pharmas to develop its Alveair (TM) inhalable insulin, which is also looking quite promising as an eventual competitor to Pfizer’s Exubera.