Making a Better Insulin

in ,

Alborz Mahdavi

JDRF Hosts Inaugural Glucose Responsive Insulin Workshop

What will it take to make superior insulin: one that keeps blood sugar in a healthy range all day with one single dose? This is a question the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community and researchers have been contemplating for many years. The answer may rest in the development of glucose responsive insulins (GRIs), a once-daily therapy able to respond automatically to changes in blood sugar levels and other body metabolism signals.

Gathering of Great Minds
To explore the ideal insulin, JDRF and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust recently hosted leading investigators, industry representatives and patient advocates –all great minds who could create the next big game-changer for T1D. They identified the major challenges to advance the development of GRI and brainstormed about ways to spur the ideal profile for first generation therapies. The meeting was divided into presentations by top investigators who then conducted breakout groups addressing various questions from how to cultivate more and current GRI interventions, to how to create a pathway for timely review of GRI candidates through regulatory agencies.

Building the Perfect GRI
The group outlined a comprehensive target product or a wish list of what the GRIs would be:
• All insulin-dependent diabetics could use it, and no other insulin is required
• Requires subcutaneous injections only once a day
• Glucose monitoring once or less a day and no severe complications with chronic use

Given the challenges ahead, it is reasonable to expect that development of GRI therapies will be an iterative process with a first generation drug offering some but not all of the anticipated benefits – such as reduced hypoglycemia and burden of management. JDRF’s Sanjoy Dutta, Assistant Vice President, Translational Development & International Partnership, noted,

success in this area [GRI] would accomplish many of JDRF’s overall aims to reduce the complexity, burden, invasiveness and dangers for people living with T1D, and their families.”

Want to Learn More?
For more information on the workshop hosted by JDRF and the Helmsley Charitable Trust, click here to see a video.