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New Study Aims To Reduce Medication Frequency

With Type 2 diabetes, it is likely that you may have to take a shot of insulin every day. Relying on insulin may be the only way for Type 2 diabetics to manage their blood glucose levels.

New research is being done to combat the daily struggle of taking insulin. Researchers are trying to produce diabetes medicine that will last longer in a diabetic’s body.  The aim of the new study is to reduce the amount of injections from once a day to potentially once a month is what these studies are aiming for.

Research is taking place because most Type 2 diabetes drugs contain a GLP1 molecule.  GLP1 medicines (glucagon-like-peptide-1)  enhance insulin secretion while also inhibiting glucagon for your body when blood glucose levels are high. However, that molecule in medication has a “really short half-life.”  If you add other molecules to the GLP1, the half-life can be extended from 1 day to 3-7 days. Finding longer term treatment is ideal.

Duke Is Seeking Solutions To Insulin Shots

Duke University has a team looking for answers to this problem.  So far, Duke’s team has been able to combine GLP1 with a biopolymer molecule. The GLP1 will fuse with the polypeptide (ELP) to create a solution. It starts as a liquid in colder temperatures, according to Signe Dean of Science Alert. Then, the liquid becomes thicker because of body heat and resembles a gel substance. The solution is then ready for injection. The Telegraph called this injection a “slow release jelly.” Once injected under the skin, it dispenses its ingredients gradually to help achieve blood glucose levels that are stable.

It is a great breakthrough that Duke has combined the GLP1 molecule with a biopolymer molecule. The results show that after an injection, the drug releases very slowly in the body. This in turn, keeps blood sugar levels stable over a longer period.


So far, Duke researchers have been happy with the results of tests done on mice and monkeys.  Both species showed great reactions to the treatments and results showed that injections were only required a couple times per month. For mice, glucose levels were controlled for 10 days after injections. For rhesus monkeys, results were even more exciting. Thanks to these monkeys’ slower metabolisms, glucose levels were controlled for 17 days! Humans have even slower metabolisms than these monkeys, so scientists are hopeful the new drug will last even longer in humans!  The goals of the scientists are that humans will only need no more than two injections per month.  Best case scenario, a diabetic patient will only require one injection per month.

Testing On Humans

Now that these studies are complete on animals, the next step is to do more research on how this will translate to use in humans.

Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering professor, Ashutosh Chilkoti, says injecting such a drug once a week or once a month rather than once or twice a day will be much more desirable to patients with Type 2 diabetes. Chilkoti says, “Additionally, this approach avoids the peaks and valleys of drug concentrations that these patients often experience.”

Get excited about easier diabetes management in the future.  Fewer insulin injections requirements are proactively being studied.  One single injection will control glucose for weeks at a time.

Interested in participating in some of these ground-breaking studies? Lucas Research is a renowned diabetes research facility in Morehead City, NC. Fill out our questionnaire today to help us improve the knowledge regarding diabetes. If you have any other questions regarding your diabetes management, please contact Lucas today for help managing your diabetes.

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