A team of University of British Columbia researchers working on developing oral insulin tablets as a replacement for daily insulin injections have made a game-changing discovery.
Researchers have discovered that insulin from the latest version of their oral tablets is absorbed by rats in the same way that injected insulin is.
“These exciting results show that we are on the right track in developing an insulin formulation that will no longer need to be injected before every meal, improving the quality of life, as well as mental health, of more than nine million Type 1 diabetics around the world.” says professor Dr. Anubhav Pratap-Singh (he/him), the principal investigator from the faculty of land and food systems.
He explains the inspiration behind the search for a non-injectable insulin comes from his diabetic father who has been injecting insulin 3-4 times a day for the past 15 years.
According to Dr. Alberto Baldelli (he/him), a senior fellow in Dr. Pratap-Singh’s lab, they are now seeing nearly 100 per cent of the insulin from their tablets go straight into the liver. In previous attempts to develop a drinkable insulin, most of the insulin would accumulate in the stomach.
“Even after two hours of delivery, we did not find any insulin in the stomachs of the rats we tested. It was all in the liver and this is the ideal target for insulin — it’s really what we wanted to see,” says Yigong Guo (he/him), first author of the study and a PhD candidate working closely on the project.
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