Investigating Symlin and Insulin Co-Formula

Ann Bartlett Health Guide
  • About two weeks ago, someone from my yahoo list of d-friends sent me an article about a mix of symlin and insulin and blood sugar control.  I read thru it and basically sent back a comment that said “Yes, I was familiar with symlin, it’s used to control post prandial(after meal) highs” and a link to a discussion about the pros and cons of making it one injection. The next day, this hit my inbox from JDRF:


    JDRF and Amylin Partner to Investigate Co-Formulating two hormones for Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes


    The press release from Amylin Pharmaceuticals, makers of Byetta and JDRF is something new!

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    Amylin Pharmaceuticals also makes Symlin. Symlin mimics the hormone amylin, which is housed in the Islet cell (Here's a link to Islet cell 101). Researchers know that beta cells are damaged or destroyed by diabetes, in both type1 or some with type2, which results in a decrease of insulin, but also amylin.  When amylin production is reduced patients have a hard time controlling blood sugars after meals.


    There has been some reluctance to using symlin.  Some people have tried wearing two pumps simultaneously, so they can have a continuous flow of amylin and insulin to help curb the spikes. When I met Gary Scheiner the first time, he had two pumps, one for insulin and one for symlin.  Of my d girlfriends, 2 are taking Symlin and say it has made a difference for them. 


    But as we all know, living with diabetes is complicated and adding more vials of stuff we have to remember to take can be a struggle!  So why can’t Symlin be added to an insulin?  I guess JDRF asked the same question!


    JDRF and Amylin Pharmaceuticals have partnered to research whether they can marry insulin and Symlin into one product.


    According to Aaron Kowalski, assistant VP of Treatment Therapies for JDRF, “The study of this combination therapy is exciting because, if successful, it could potentially help patients achieve tighter glucose control without increasing treatment complexity.” 


    Amen, Dr, Kowalski! If they could find a successful relationship for insulin and symlin to live happily ever after, it brings us closer to doing what the body natural does without diabetes!  And I would think that if medication can mimic what our bodies should be doing, then it has a good chance of becoming a superior therapy. 

Published On: May 19, 2011