Deadly Time Changes, Cure Patent, Small Needles
The Insulin Nation Treatment Roundup for November 2014.
Deadly Time Changes
Both your computer and your smart phone automatically change clock settings when Daylight Savings Time ends…so you would think a lifesaving device like an insulin pump would do it, too. Not so, warn researchers in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. Insulin pump users still need to change their clock settings, and some forget to do so, according to a report of the findings in Healio Endocrine Today. Time change errors can lead to insulin dosing problems that may prove fatal, researchers warn. Even more troubling is the potential for error that can occur when pump users accidentally use the wrong a.m./p.m. settings, they warned.
If ever there was a problem that cried out for an automated fix, this would be it.
A National Institutes of Health study found that the new eye drug Eylea trounced its competition at treating diabetic macular edema. According to a FiercePharma report, the injectable eye treatment beat out both Lucentis and Avastin in treating the condition, which results from a buildup of fluid within the retina; the condition is a leading cause of sight loss for people with diabetes. Both Eylea and Lucentis are eye drugs, while Avastin is a cancer drug that is often prescribed off-label for eye conditions.
Patenting a Cure?
An Israeli company won a U.S. patent for a cell-growing technique that it believes will lead to a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Orgenesis announced that it has patented a technique for converting liver cells into insulin-producing cells that are similar to islets found in the pancreas. According to Orgenesis, the process involves harvesting liver cells from the patient and then converting those cells into insulin-producing cells, which are then injected back into the liver. Orgenesis says this technique has been done successfully with human cells in a laboratory setting, and with mice.
The research is described as “preclinical,” meaning it isn’t close to going up for FDA approval.
Novo Waffles on New Insulin
According to Reuters, Novo Nordisk may have spoken too soon about teeing up its new long-acting insulin, Tresiba, for FDA approval. Earlier, the drug manufacturer had crowed that Tresiba had done so well in preliminary trials that it could be submitted to FDA regulators in the first half of 2015. Now company officials said they aren’t sure whether to submit the data they have now or wait until after a three-year study has been completed. Tresiba had been rejected before by the FDA in 2013 for lack of data on the potential for heart risks.
Less is More with Needles
Novo Nordisk has announced that it is now selling an insulin pen needle that is the width of two human hairs. The needle, called the NovoFine Plus, is four milimeters long. The company touts the needle for being able to help users inject insulin with less force and less ouch. The needle fits with all insulin pens currently on the market, according to the company’s press release.
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