nsulin, a life-saving medication for controlling blood sugar in diabetics, has been a breakthrough in treating what was once considered a deadly disease. However, its administration through injections can be inconvenient for patients.

Researchers have been working on developing an oral alternative to insulin injections to improve patient compliance and comfort. The challenge lies in the chemical nature of insulin, being easily broken down in the stomach and poorly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.

One approach involves using nateglinide, an anti-diabetic drug, as a protective carrier for insulin. When nateglinide self-assembles, it forms a gel-like coating that can encapsulate insulin, protecting it in the stomach and GI tract. Tests in diabetic mice showed promising results, with sustained release of insulin and improved blood glucose levels.

However, the high cost of insulin medications in the United States is a significant barrier to competition and access for patients. The success of this oral delivery platform may depend on pharmaceutical companies’ willingness to adopt it, in addition to the technology’s safety and patient responses. While there are still hurdles to overcome and unanswered questions, the researchers are eager to pursue clinical trials and make a meaningful impact on diabetes treatment.

Article written by Victoria Corless



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