Glucagon Patch Performs Well in Phase II Trial

A microneedle glucagon patch is competing with several other treatments to treat injectable glucagon.



In 2015, the pharmaceutical company Zosano Pharma conducted a Phase II trial on a glucagon patch to test the patch’s safety and efficiency. The small trial, which represented an important step forward towards getting FDA approval, yielded positive results. Researchers found that applying two glucagon patches was just as effective at combating hypoglycemia as two intramuscular injections of a glucagon solution.

Although the patch’s overall design has been kept under wraps, it can be conjectured that the microneedles on the patch are coated in glucagon, which is injected into the body when the patch is applied. There are several efforts to come up with more user-friendly approaches to reversing hypoglycemia. In 2015, there was a successful study that used formoterol, traditionally an oral asthma medication to treat hypoglycemia. Also, Lilly acquired the rights to a nasal glucagon spray that has proven very effective in human trials. For now, injectable glucagon, which can be challenging to administer in crisis situations, is the only option on the market.

Though Zosano Pharma declined to comment on the Phase II results, what we do know is that a Phase III clinical trial, while tentative, is expected to start at some point in 2016.

Patch not pictured here.

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Travis served as a staff writer for Insulin Nation and Type 2 Nation in 2015. Previously, he was a staff writer for Insight, a high school newspaper, as well as a copywriter for The Emersonian, Emerson's yearbook.