US drug delivery company Emisphere Technologies reported promising results last week with an oral formulation of insulin that could do away with the need for injections in people with diabetes.
The company presented new data on its oral insulin product - formulated using its eligen oral drug delivery technology - at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, last week.
One of several studies presented at the AAPS meeting looked at the effect of the oral insulin on the biological response of diabetes and its complications to treatment with Emisphere's oral insulin formulation in rats. The study assessed the therapeutic response of this formulation by monitoring the progress of diabetic status in rats whose diabetes was induced with streptozotocin, a drug that destroys the beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
The results showed that the oral insulin formulation was effective in improving the pathophysiological symptoms of diabetes, based on the systemic and cardiovascular parameters evaluated. In this diabetic model, Emisphere demonstrated that hyperglycaemia (elevated blood glucose), polydipsia (over drinking of water), weight loss and autonomic dysfunction could be reversed with insulin delivered using its formulation.
A second study, entitled, evaluated the effect of processing and/or formulation parameters on the oral delivery of insulin in non-human primates. Results showed that a solid formulation of insulin utilising Emisphere's eligen technology rapidly and significantly increased insulin levels, and prolonged blood glucose lowering.
eligen is based on the use of proprietary, synthetic chemical compounds that facilitate the transport of the large therapeutic molecules across biological membranes such as the small intestine without altering its chemical form or biological integrity.