Researchers at Yale University have created a unique oral medicine for type 1 diabetes, and it can prove to be more effective than any other remedy known at the moment.
The medicine was trialed on mice, and it was seen that it adjusted insulin levels and restored metabolic functions along with reversing inflammatory effects of the disease.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that involves the destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, causing sugar to build up in the bloodstream and blood sugar levels to rise.
There is no robust treatment for the disease except to manage the symptoms by adjusting lifestyle and diet with insulin injections.
This oral pill is developed by Tarek Fahmy, associate professor of biomedical engineering and of immunobiology at Yale, and it was published in Nature Biomedical Engineering that it brings two major benefits.
To begin with, it has an easy intake method that can enable the patients to be consistent. Also, it helps control immediate blood glucose levels, restores pancreatic function, and re-establishes normal immunity in the pancreatic environment.
“What excites me about this is that it’s a two-pronged approach,” Fahmy said, in a press release. “It’s facilitating normal metabolism as well as correcting immune defects in the long term. So, you actually are curing the disease while you are maintaining insulin levels at the same time.”
The pill was created after scientists developed a nanoparticle drug vehicle that securely transports insulin to the pancreas. It’s made of ursodeoxycholic acid, a bile acid produced naturally in the body that the researchers polymerized. This enables it to better tether to pancreatic receptors, boosting metabolic activities, and reducing the immune cells that destroy beta cells in the first place.
While in an experiment on mice, it was discovered that the oral capsule worked almost seven times faster than insulin delivered through the standard subcutaneous injection. Similar results were achieved when it was tested on pigs.
“The potential is enormous for diabetes and other disease states as well,” Fahmy said. “I am hopeful that this technological development will be leveraged in the development of urgent solutions to what are presently difficult challenges in autoimmunity, cancer, allergies, and infections.”