Scientists have developed a technology that may provide weeks of glucose control for diabetes with a single injection, and would be a dramatic improvement over current therapies.
In primates, the treatment has been shown to last for weeks, rather than days, researchers at Duke University in the US said. By creating a controlled-release mechanism for a drug and optimising its circulation time in the body, the new biopolymer injection has the potential to replace daily or weekly insulin shots with a once-a-month or twice-a-month treatments for type 2 diabetes, said researchers.
Many current treatments for type 2 diabetes use a signalling molecule called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) to cause the pancreas to release insulin to control blood sugar.
However, this peptide has a short half-life and is cleared from the body quickly. Researchers from Duke University, have created a technology that fuses GLP1 to a heat-sensitive elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) in a solution that can be injected into the skin through a standard needle.