Scientists have recently successfully developed non-fibrillating human insulin that will improve the delivery of insulin for patients suffering from diabetes.
The team of international researchers led by the Associate Professor Akhter Hossain at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health used a new glycosylation technique to synthesize an analogue of insulin called glycoinsulin which shows the same glucose-lowering response as insulin without fibril formation in preclinical studies.
When insulin compounds get aggregate and form clumps, fibrils can arise. For people suffering from diabetes who are dependent on pump infusions for the insulin administration, fibrils induce serious risks in blocking the insulin delivery that can potentially cause fatal under-dosing.
The author of the study Professor Hossain said that this latest discovery of glycoinsulin gives a promising solution for diabetic patients.
Professor said that their research not only shows glycoinsulin doesn’t make fibrils even at high concentrations and high temperature but it is also stable than the native insulin in human serum. All these findings show glycoinsulin an excellent candidate to use in insulin pumps and for improving the shelf life of insulin products. They are hoping to streamline the making process for glycoinsulin for further investigation of this compound in clinical studies.
There is an alarming increase in diabetes rates in the United States. According to the CDC, National Diabetes Statistic 2017 Report, it is estimated that cases of diabetes have reached to 30.3 million. Over 350,000 Americans and 25,000 diabetic patients living in Australia are using insulin pumps for managing their diabetes.
An insulin pump infusion set is a significant burden and medical wastage as they have to be replaced after every 24 to 72 hours for the mitigation of the occurrence of fibrils. In the United States above the US, $1billion can be safe every year if the insulin usage period is increased from two days to six days.
In this study, an insulin sugar complex from the egg yolks was engineered by using a method that was jointly developed by the collaboration of Associate Professor Ryo Okamoto and Professor Yasuhiro Kajihara from the Osaka University in Japan.
The co-leader of the research Professor John Wade from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health commented on the historical success of the research. The chemical modification of the insulin compound causes structural inactivation and destabilization but they were able to synthesize glycoinsulin successfully in a way so that retains the insulin-like helical structure. In a result, they develop a fully active analogue of insulin which has shown near-naïve binding to the receptors of insulin both in lab and animal studies.
The CEO of Diabetes Australia, Professor Greg Johnson welcomed the findings of this research. He said that it has the potential for making life easier for diabetic patients who are using insulin pumps. It is almost 100 years since the insulin discovery and these discoveries are very exciting. These molecules have the potential for easing the increasing burden and cost for people suffering from diabetes.