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Newly Discovered Treatment Could Control Blood Glucose Levels Longer For Diabetics

First Posted: Jun 07, 2017 04:30 AM EDT

Scientists have discovered a novel way of controlling the blood glucose levels longer for Type 2 diabetes patients. In the study involving mice and monkeys, the treatment using a single injection lasted for weeks rather than days.

The findings of the discovery were published in the Nature Biomedical Engineering. The study was led by biomedical engineers from Duke University. The discovery could eliminate the need of the daily insulin shots for people with type 2 diabetes.

Most of the treatments for type 2 diabetes use a molecule known as Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1). This molecule triggers the pancreas to emit insulin to control blood sugar. On the other hand, this has a short half-life and could diminish in the body fast, according to Duke University.

In the study, the scientists merged the GLP1 with a biopolymer molecule. This was seen as a liquid in colder temperatures. On the other hand, it thickened like a gel substance in reaction to body heat. The solution can be done in the simple injection. On the other hand, once it was inserted, the drug is released gradually. With this, it could control blood glucose levels longer with just one dose.

The team inserted the solution in mice and rhesus monkeys. The results showed that in mice, the solution controlled glucose levels for 10 days after one dose of injection. Meanwhile, in monkeys, it lasted for up to 17 days.

The scientists then theorized that because human metabolism is slower than monkeys', the drug then could last longer in humans, probably just one injection in a month. They stated that the preclinical data indicates evidence that this construct could require no more than two injections a month for humans, perhaps one per month, particularly given the dose-stacking potential of this system. The scientists also think that the new GLP1 solution could also be applied to other types of medication, according to Science Alert.

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