Top Diabetes Advances You Can Expect in 2013

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To kick off 2013, we put together a list of diabetes research we think you should keep your eye on throughout the year.


Novo Nordisk is advancing into phase 3 trials for FIAsp, the ultra-rapid acting version of Novolog. Ultra-rapid acting insulin would speed the uptake and decrease those nasty mealtime spikes. MannKind is resubmitting Afrezza for FDA approval in the third quarter of 2013, which will hopefully bring it to market in early 2014. Biodel is working on trials for BIO-123, also a rapid-acting insulin. BIO-123 appears to be in phase 2 trials.

The Artificial Pancreas (AP)

How far away are we from the reality of the AP? Pretty far, but the AP is making necessary headway with the FDA in terms of the next steps its makers need to take in getting it to market. Currently, the AP is in outpatient clinical trials and it has been set up to have an interface with smart phones.

Type 2 insulin delivery technology

Type 2 insulin delivery has long needed attention, and 2013 looks like it has some promise. Most interesting is the PaQ insulin delivery, a disposable patch pump designed specifically for Type 2 patients who use basal/bolus insulin therapy. It is approved in the EU, but not in the US. Here in the US, we have a similar product made by Valeritas called V-Go, which has had very positive patient feedback.

Nerve pain devices

Nerve pain device, Sensus, is scheduled to hit the market this year and it is the first device specifically for diabetic neuropathy. The Sensus device uses electrical stimulation on the skin to help alleviate painful symptoms from neuropathy.

Probiotics for Type 1

In 2009, research called “the hygiene hypothesis” stated that children whose mothers are less worried about germs have better immune systems and less diseases. How could this be?

Another study shows children with Type 1 diabetes had low levels of good bacteria in their intestinal tract.  More interestingly, the report cites another study that suggests preventing Type 1 diabetes in at-risk people with probiotics (good bacteria).

New fitness device

Appropriate for all people, with or without diabetes, the Misfit Shine device is the world's first all-metal wireless fitness device, all in about the size of a quarter. The coolest thing about this device is that it syncs with your smartphone without a Bluetooth or cable connection - you can literally lay the device on top of your phone and it will sync.

Plant-based drugs for Type 2

A group of researchers believe they have identified potential sources of medicines derived from two plants which may have fewer adverse side-effects for Type 2 diabetes than what's currently on the market. The two plants found in south-east Asia which they think could have properties that are not only anti-diabetic, but also fat-lowering, which can help tackle obesity.