New insulin could cut need for daily injections

A new insulin in development may remove the need for daily injections and reduce glucose fluctuations, research suggests.

Data from a phase-2 trial showed treatment with new insulin degludec led to a more stable glucose-lowering effect in patients with type-1 diabetes than standard treatment.

An accompanying study showed that insulin degludec injected three times a week was as effective at lowering HbA1c levels as existing type-2 diabetes therapy.

The data were presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting in Stockholm last week.

In the first study, 54 patients with type-1 diabetes were given either insulin degludec or insulin glargine once daily and monitored for 12 days. Researchers studied treatment effects for 24 hours at days 6, 9 and 12.

Researchers found that the variability of treatment effects was lower among patients given insulin degludec than standard treatment.

Findings from another study also suggested the new insulin could be administered less often, which could improve adherence to treatment in insulin-naïve patients.

In a phase-2 trial, three-times-weekly insulin degludec was shown to be as effective as a once daily dose of standard treatment.

A trial of 184 type-2 patients compared insulin degludec once daily or three-times-weekly with insulin glargine.

It showed that the three treatments produced similar reductions in HbA1c and number of adverse effects.

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, described the study as ‘a small step forward’ in producing a new insulin formulation.

‘The next stage will be to test the formulations on larger numbers of people for a longer time period,’ he said.

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