Better Insulin, Vegan Diets, Islet Transplants

Our August Treatment Roundup



Sanofi Improves Upon Itself

shutterstock_173765381_insulin_needles_200pxIn a multinational trial, Sanofi’s new long-acting insulin outperformed its current long-acting insulin. Scientists found in a head-to-head trial of the two insulins, Sanofi’s new formulation led to improved glucose control and fewer bouts of hypoglycemia, according to an article in Medscape Multispecialty. The results were enough for the FDA to accept Sanofi’s application for the new insulin; European drug regulators have already accepted Sanofi’s application.

There is one catch, however: the trial involved older, obese people with Type 2 diabetes. It’s unclear if the feds will approve this insulin for people with Type 1 diabetes based on the test results.

Novo Nordisk Tries, Tries Again

shutterstock_179884232_insulin_vials_200pxLast year, Novo Nordisk thought it had a clear road ahead to rolling out its new long-acting insulin, Tresiba, in 2017, but then the FDA rejected it out of safety concerns. Now the drug manufacturer is happily announcing that its trials to clear up the concerns are going ahead of schedule, according to Fierce Biotech. Company officials now believe they will even be able get their insulin out to market in 2016, which must mean they think the trials will show their insulin in a very favorable light.

Veggies Fight Neuropathy

shutterstock_97438421_happy_vegetables_200pxA small study found that a vegan diet helped relieve some of the pain of neuropathy, at least when tried on 15 people with Type 2 diabetes. The study, conducted by members of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, found that a low-fat vegan diet wiped out neuropathy pain for 81% of the trial participants, according to Medpage Today.

Of course, many people with Type 1 diabetes are told to follow a high-protein, low-carb diet, which can sometimes be more difficult to do with a vegan diet. Still, there is little good news about neuropathy, so any treatment progress helps.

Islet Transplants via the Stomach

shutterstock_102558620_chemistry_cartoon_200pxScientists have been trying to find a way to transplant functional islet cells into the bodies of people with Type 1 diabetes in a way that allows the islets to survive. Dr. Andrew Posselt of the Diabetes Center at UCSF has been experimenting with ways to implant working islets into the stomach lining. Dr. Posselt has tried this procedure on one volunteer, Chris Stiehl, who achieved insulin independence for almost 8 weeks. UCSF has now received additional funding to try a new version of the procedure with a few more volunteers. The procedure is considered about as invasive as an endoscopy, with a bit more prepping leading up the procedure. You can read about Chris Stiehl’s experience here: http://insulinnation.com/treatment2/cure-insight/an-islet-therapy-pioneer/

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Craig Idlebrook is a past editor for Insulin Nation, Type 2 Nation, and Información Sobre Diabetes. He is now the community engagement and content manager for T1D Exchange.