Novo Enters Phase 1 Test of an Insulin Pill

The quest to find a way to deliver insulin without the pain and inconvenience of needles, pens, and pumps is a long one.

| Dec 24, 2009

Denmark-based Novo Nordisk A/S has begun phase 1 testing of an insulin pill that, if successful, could replace injections as the primary means of blood sugar control for millions of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The company has enrolled 80 volunteer German test subjects in the study and expects to have preliminary results by the first half of 2011. The test group consists of both people with diabetes and people without it.

The quest to find a way to deliver insulin without the pain and inconvenience of needles, pens, and pumps is a long one. Novo's experiment comes almost three years after Pfizer, Inc., withdrew Exubera, an inhaled insulin, from the market after it failed to build a following with patients or healthcare professionals.

Any method that involves administering insulin orally must overcome the ill effects of saliva and digestive juices on insulin's relatively delicate molecular structure. The problem is keeping the hormone intact until it can get far enough into the system to enter the bloodstream. Novo's approach uses a patented drug delivery system called gastrointestinal permeation enhancement technology (GIPET), which helps the gut absorb insulin.

Developed by Novo's Ireland-based R&D partner, Merrion Pharmaceuticals, GIPET works by adding patented absorption enhancers to a heavily coated pill containing insulin. After the pill is ingested, the coating protects it until it can reach the duodenum, the first section of the small intestine, just past the stomach. There, as the pill begins to dissolve, the absorption enhancers quicken the passage of the drug across the duodenal cell membrane and into the bloodstream. 

In 20 clinical studies across a range of drugs, GIPET increased oral drug absorption up to 46 times in some cases. Novo's test will investigate the drug delivery's safety and effectiveness, as well as test subjects' tolerance to insulin delivered in oral form.

* * *

Sources:

Novo Starts First Insulin Pill Test in Bid to Replace Injection

Novo Nordisk starts trial with oral insulin analogue

 

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Medications, Novo Nordisk, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Issues


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (12)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 12 comments - Dec 24, 2009

©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.