Lilly teams up with Adocia to develop ultra-rapid insulin
Today’s modern ultra-rapid insulin has led to improvements in post meal blood sugar levels compared to the previous generation of ‘regular insulin’ but the peak activity still means that many meals result in higher than normal sugar levels for up to 3 hours after eating.
Eli Lilly, the company that makes Humalog insulin, have teamed up with Adocia, a French company that has developed a BioChaperone, a mix of biological compounds that increase the performance of proteins such as insulin. The result is that it makes ultra-rapid-acting insulin possible when injected or taken by insulin pump.
33% faster onset
When used with Humalog, BioChaperone accelerates the action of the insulin as well as enhancing its absorption. Results of trials show that BioChaperone increased the speed of Humalog by 33% compared to the use of Humalog. The result of this is lower blood glucose levels following meals.
Another key benefit is that, as the insulin acts quicker, there is less activity after 3 hours which could reduce the risk of hypos after the 3 hour mark following meals.
The future of insulin
Lilly’s Humalog was the first rapid-acting analogue insulin to be approved in 1996. Within the nearly 20 years that has followed, technology has advanced considerably, with insulin pumps becoming a common treatment. In 2014, we have seen significant advances in artificial pancreas technology and the availability of such systems seems, more than ever, just a matter of time.
Whilst insulin pumps, and artificial pancreas systems, are getting closer to matching the effects of the pancreas, the one area these systems are lacking in is that the speed of absorption of insulin from a pump cannot compete with the speed of insulin activity direct from the pancreas.
Lilly’s partnership with Adocia therefore looks to address not just a present need but a growing future need too.
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