Researchers develop insulin pill as alternative to injections

Though efforts have been underway to develop a method of insulin delivery that doesn't require an injection, no great success has been produced. That may change soon, as researchers with Niagara University have revealed a new project in which an insulin pill was developed. This insulin pill, contrary to the way such a pill would ordinarily work, bypasses the stomach's acid to be absorbed in the intestines instead, delivering insulin to the bloodstream.

Diabetics, in most cases, have to use insulin injections to keep their blood sugar in check. Various research efforts have attempted to produce an insulin pill alternative in the past, but for various reasons have been less than successful.

This time around, a trio of researchers with Niagara University have unveiled their own development: 'a new technology called a Cholestosome,' according to team lead Dr. Mary McCourt. She described the substance as 'a neutral, lipid-based particle that is capable of doing some very interesting things.'

The Cholestosomes are used to encapsulate the insulin, creating a stomach acid-resistant barrier between the acid and the insulin, allowing it to persevere in the stomach and survive to the intestines. Once the intestines are reached, the substance is absorbed and the vesicles make their way into the bloodstream. Finally, they're pulled into cells where the insulin is released.

After determining how to get an optimal amount of insulin into the Cholestosomes, the substance was transitioned into animal testing during which certain formulations were found to have a high level of bioavailability. After more testing, the researchers plan to have the drug enter human trials.

SOURCE: Niagara University