View Full Version : Diabetes breakthrough: once a month Insulin dosage

Khushal Khan Khattak
07-14-2010, 12:33 AM
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Diabetes breakthrough:
once a month Insulin dosage

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A team of scientists has discovered a novel form of insulin that could drastically reduce the suffering diabetics face in controlling their blood sugar.

For the diabetics, daily painful pinpricks to inject doses of insulin is a routine affair, now in a new discovery scientists claim a single shot of insulin could help keep sugar levels under control for more than a month. Today the effect of each insulin injection lasts at best for a day.

India is considered the diabetes capital of the world, with as many as 50 million people suffering from this chronic disease, so any new discovery is welcomed with open arms.

The team spent two million rupees and took two years to come with this novel solution. These scientists have already patented the technology, commercialized it and the new insulin could well become a big money spinner in times to come, feels the man who discovered this new form of insulin. (

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"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 researchers treated natural human insulin at varying temperatures and chemical conditions and one such special formulation does the magic. In experiments done on rats, mice and rabbits the team could control the sugar levels like of these diabetic rats simply by giving an injection once every three months.

Imagine having to do away with multiple injections everyday to control the sugar problem. The simplicity of the discovery and its huge potential has attracted immediate attention.

"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.

It is not often that new drug is discovered in India, but its use in humans could still be many years away.

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07-14-2010, 01:30 AM
Oh WoW!!! I hope it is translated into therapeutics soon.That's a great and true service to mankind.
Thanks for sharing Khushal.

07-14-2010, 02:25 AM
Dangerous Pashtun, the research was focused on making a modified version of Insulin hormone. Insulin is the hormone that controls our blood glucose level. In diabetetic patients, the blood glucose levels are higher since the Insulin is not secreted by the Pancreatic glands.
Presently, the commercially available insulin has to be taken 1-3 times/day (depending upon the diabetes level of the patient) which requires using multiple injections (insulin is injected intramusculalry). Also Insulin hormone is unstable so it has to be refrigerated all the time which also increases its cost comapred to other kinds of medicines.
The modified version of Insulin prepared by the Indian Scientists is a remarkable invention because unlike the regular insulin, this one could be taken once every three months and therefore the patients do not have to inject insulin everyday. The research has proved to be effective in lab and has not been to Clinical trials yet but it looks promising.
Compared to using insulin everyday, getting one injection once every month would be cost-effective as well as a lot of convenience for diabetic patients.

07-15-2010, 02:28 AM
Wardakprince, in healthy humans, the body produces regular amounts of insulin to digest the glucose present in blood. Diabetic patients have less or irregular amounts of Insulin produced to digest the glucose.Hence their blood glucose level is not normal but remains high and results in a number of health risks.
A dibetic patient has to take a dosage of Insulin as prescribed by the doctor. The present form of Insulin is injectable and have to be used once a day at least. The above research is trying to make a different form of Insulin which could be taken once in three months rather than taking everyday by the diabetic patients. That is why it might turn out to be a great achievement in diabetes healthcare.
So by taking too much insulin you can get sick?

07-15-2010, 04:45 PM
Feel real proud to see Indian scientists come with achievements like these. Just hope the product is tested and launched in the market soon. Rest assured, since a govt. lab has developed it, the prices wont be high.

07-15-2010, 08:54 PM
why is that Khalsa when it's govt it's cheaper
I think because state-sponsored events don't look for as much profit.

07-15-2010, 09:41 PM
Shlombay, it is a breakthrough based on the lab results. When a particular biomolecule shows effectiveness in lab animals especially the mice, the FDA approves the studies to be performed in human subjects. These are called clinical trials. Both healthy volunteers and patients participate in the study. If one is lucky enough to collect effective results and then the subsequent approval by FDA, the company then manufacture the drug and market it as a last step.
A typical drug discovery and development process takes 8-12 years and even more than that..from the time the idea is conceived till its marketing...
The above drug has already passed the stage of animal studies so my understanding is that the clinical trials and FDA approval will take another 1-2 years if they are successful. Nevertheless, diabetes is one of the top-five diseases of the world and breakthrough like this is a great news for mankind.
Gulalai how long would it take for this to be available?

07-15-2010, 10:01 PM
Aseer Jaan, I am presently doing research on cancer genomics, human and microbial evolution, and highly infectious diseases and many other stuff--Phews!!Last year I was working on a project aimed at finding novel drug molecules for HIV, Dengues, Prostrate Cancer, Diabetes, and Multiple Sclerosis. Before that I worked on infectious diseases and am still working on two of the projects including polio problem in Afghanistan, Pakistan and some parts of Africa. Recently I have started working on breast cancer specifically. I am working with a team trying to find/analyze this one gene that we think is important enough to be targeted for therapeutic drug.
I also volunteer as a researcher at American Museum of Natural History for studying the human/microbial evolution and in The New York Academy of Sciences (Scientists without Borders) where I work on some projects related to the healthcare in the developing countries. I procrastinate a lot and so waste my time:banghead:..otherwise could do more..:sad1:
They are working on it Shlombai.

Gulalai do you research similar things?

07-15-2010, 10:22 PM
Jasmine, a drug development process could either take place in non-profit institution such as Universities/other R & D organizations or in private Pharma companies. In the former case, most of the research is funded by the govt. in the form of taxpayer money. In contrast, private companies such a Pfizer, Merck, Glaxosmith etc bring the money from investors to make a drug. Therefore when they manufacture a drug, it is more of a business venture rather than serving the humanity. The develpment of a single drug requires some $700 to 2,500 million regardless of whether the drug is going to be successful or a failed venture. So when a Pharma company develops a drug successfully, it tries to recover its cost by selling the drug at high price. Making huge profits is important for maintaining a strong position in the stock market. In contrast, when the research teams in universities make a drug, they are patented by the university and since the university is under the govt. (unless it is a private one), the prices are cheaper comparitevely (the research was funded by the govt.) The pharma companies in this case just manufacture the drug for the university but has no other right to develop or market it or earn profits from it. All the profit goes to the university/R & D org.
Money is a big thing in Science as well. Some of the World's big Pharma companies are not interested in working on the third-world countries diseases/drugs because of the minimum purchasing power of the people in these countries (which makes sense considering the financial issues related to the drug development). The diseases present in these countries have been eradicated centuries ago in the western world and hence they are more interested in finding cure for their own diseases which would earn them millions. Nevertheless, there are a large number of research teams in the USA who are working on some of the deadly diseases of third world countries just with the purpose of serving the mankind.
I hope it answers your qs :)
why is that Khalsa when it's govt it's cheaper

07-16-2010, 12:59 AM
Oh yeah, Columbia University has these amazing projects going on...
My program is Cellular, molecular and biomedical studies.
I see, I know a lot of my friends who participate in that mentioned program who attend Columbia Uni.

What exactly is your field of study Gulalai Jaan,

07-16-2010, 03:38 AM
On a related note, many multi-billion dollar Indian generic pharma majors like Ranbaxy, Cipla, Sun-Pharma and Dr. Reddy's Labs have built their business on reverse-engineering expensive Western drugs and redeveloping and re-launching them for Third world countries. They have faced a lot of law-suits along the way by pharma behemoths like Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis etc but have not only managed to beat 'em but enter the Western markets as well, the home turf of the these behemoths.

Many people would argue that what they did was "wrong" though technically legal. But at the same time they provided a lot of cheaper alternatives to people in India and other developing nations and probably saved a lot of lives. And along the way they acquired skills and expertise to come up with their own patents for new drugs. Recently, one of them discovered a new drug for Bird Flu costing just Rs. 160. Making it easy to mass produce and mass administer.

07-16-2010, 03:56 PM
Is India also exporting this to Pakistan and Afghanistan?

Afghanistan definitely but I am not so sure about Pakistan due to trade restrictions and protectionism in Pakistan. But I wont be surprised if Indian drugs are routed through Dubai for Pakistan. This happens for many other products.