Indian scientists develop single-shot Sinsulin for diabetics

Finally some heartening news for diabetics that may put an end to the multiple painful shots they have to endure to keep their blood sugar in control.

In what may open new avenues of treatment for diabetics, scientists at the Delhi-based National Institute of Immunology have developed a novel technique to help diabetic patients maintain normal sugar levels for over a month with just a single shot of insulin.

Professor Avadhesha Surolia, acting director of the Delhi-based National Institute of Immunology and one of the researchers stated, “A patient has to now take only a single shot of insulin to keep sugar levels under control for over a month.

"Besides providing relief from the trauma of pricking oneself daily, the drug counters bad effects of diabetes such as cataract andkidney failure.”

Working of SIA-11
Scientists have developed an insulin injection wherein 'Supramolecular Insulin Assembly-II (SIA-II)', a form of the hormone, continuously releases the right amount of insulin into the blood and helps curb the increase in glucose levels more tightly in between meals.

In addition, it reduces the risk for both mild/moderate and severe hypoglycemia, a low sugar condition which is listed as a serious concern for diabetics.

Experiment on animal models promising
The researchers tested the new innovation at different temperatures and chemical conditions on diabetic rats, mice, and rabbits.

They found that a single injection of SIA-11 managed to regulate and control their sugar levels for more than 120 days.

Though the focus was on type 1 diabetes, in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing mechanism, the researchers are optimistic it could also benefit persons afflicted with type 2, the form known as ‘adult onset’.

"Both conceptually and for clinical practice it is an exciting discovery because it uses natural chemically unchanged insulin and clinically it is useful because it provides ease for patients by reducing the number of pin pricks," said Dr Ambrish Mithal, Diabetologist and president, Endocrine Society of India.

A big scientific innovation
Researchers worked for three years and spent Rs20 lakhs to develop this novel form of insulin.

The technology has been patented and licensed to Life Science Pharmaceuticals in Connecticut for further development and pre-marketing clinical trials on humans.

Scientists are optimistic the new drug will be available for commercial use in four to six years.

"It is a multi-million dollar technology transfer agreement with royalties once the product goes to the market and if I am not wrong it is one of the biggest scientific innovations to have come from a government owned research laboratory," said Professor Avadhesha Surolia.

The findings are scheduled to appear sometime this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.

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