Inhalable Insulin Bacteria
Inhalable Insulin Bacteria - The Drug of Tomorrow for Diabetics
Diabetes patients need insulin. Insulin is the hormone diabetics need to help the glucose in their body to enter the cells. The hormone naturally created by the beta-islet cells of the pancreas to release the receptors in the cell membranes, insulin is essential in the control of blood sugar. But the problem is that the diabetic’s pancreas make insufficient to zero insulin. This is why they need medicated insulin, which is mostly injected. And how it is formed, you ask.
Medicated insulin is produced from human insulin made from genetically-altered bacteria, and it is then injected into the body. For now, it is impossible to be orally taken as stomach acids break them down even before they take action. But of course that may just change at the rate technology is going today.
Scientists now are testing different ways of taking insulin into the body. Aside from injection, they are studying about the use of oral sprays (which might just be the answer to the stomach acid problem), pills and skin patches. One of them is the use of inhalants – inhalable insulin bacteria.
This is for patients who cannot or do not want to use injections. Either they are forbidden by the doctor for certain reasons or are just in fear of needles. Researchers say though that the long-term safety of the inhalable insulin still has to be proven. One problem that arises with the use of inhalable insulin is the lung problems that it may give. Scientists learn that some of its adverse effects include mind coughing.
The biggest name is Exubera. The first of its kind ever approved by the Food and Drug Administraion, Exubera was developed Nektar Therapeutics with license to Pfizer and Sanofi-Adventis. It is a fast -acting powder that is given off using an inhaler. Studies show that Exubera worked but is less effective than injected insulin. Though it works, studies proved that inhalable insulin is not better than its injected counterpart in terms of controlling the blood sugar level of the patients. Of course it maybe improved over time, just as its ill effects on the lungs may be addressed.
Another problem inhalable insulin may bring is hypoglycemic-related. Hypoglycemia is a condition wherein there is a low level of glucose in the blood. This may be due to the fact that inhalable insulin for now does not permit dosing adjustments essential in avoiding hypoglycemia.
Other inhalable insulin products are the one Eli Lilly and Alkermes are developing but is not about to come into the market until 2008; the AERx Insulin Diabetes Management System created by Aradigm is currnetly being studied; another one being undergoing trials is MannKind’s Technosphere System; the crystallized insulin by Kos Pharmaceuticals; and lastly, the Aerodose System by Aerogen
Inhalable insulin bacteria are definitely a great medical breakthrough. But since it has some adverse effects, it needs to be further tested. For now, researchers say that it should be given only to those who do no have pulmonary problems so as not to aggravate their condition.