Why Swallow Metformin When You Can Chew It?

Because metformin is not a new or unproven drug, the company expects the chewing gum to travel a much shorter path to the market than a so-called “new chemical entity” drug.

Dec 8, 2008

If you're like millions of type 2s and people being treated for metabolic syndrome, you take metformin to control your liver's glucose production.

It's a tried-and-true drug that is among the first that doctors prescribe for patients who've just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

It's also a pretty big pill. Metformin is not diminutive like a baby aspirin. You need a big glug of water to wash it down. In fact, some people who should be taking it don't take it because it's too hard for them to swallow.

That's why an announcement from Massachusetts-based Generex Biotechnology Corp. is happy news: Data from an ongoing clinical trial of its proprietary MetControlTM chewing gum show that a chewable form of metformin is therapeutically equivalent to the tablet form and is absorbed and metabolized at the same rate.

In other words, you may soon be able to chew your metformin the same way you chew a stick of sugarless gum and derive the same benefits you get now from tablets. 

Twenty-four subjects are involved in the study at West Houston Clinical Research Services in Houston, Texas, intended to see if MetControl is "bioequivalent" to traditional immediate-release metformin tablets. 

So far, so good, with no serious adverse effects reported.

Once Generex confirms the study's data, it will seek regulatory approval for MetControl as a generic metformin product. Because metformin is not a new or unproven drug, the company expects the chewing gum to travel a much shorter path to the market than a so-called "new chemical entity" drug. 

Even so, Generex has not said when MetControl might get into the hands of type 2s.

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Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Metformin, Research, Type 2 Issues

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