Millions of diabetics may soon be spared from painful daily injections as one of the latest researches has procured a new technology that would deliver insulin in capsule form. Researchers from Niagara University have come up with a painless way of administering insulin that will help diabetics manage blood sugar levels.

In a statement from the American Chemical Society (ACS), Dr. Mary McCourt, leader of the research team, said that they have developed Cholestosome, a neutral, lipid-based particle that delivers insulin through the stomach before breaking down, allowing it to reach the bloodstreams. Normally, proteins such as insulin degrade even before getting into the intestines due to the highly acidic environment of the stomach.

Other attempts for the painless medication include packaging the insulin inside a protective polymer coating and inhalable insulin. However, the latter flopped in sales amid rave reviews from some patients. Cholestosome, with its lipid-based coating, which is the normal building blocks of fats, researchers deemed it unnecessary to coat the protein in a polymer-based packaging.

How Cholestosome could save diabetics from painful daily insulin shots

Through a computer modeling, researchers found out that once the lipids are assembled into spheres, they form neutral particles immune from stomach acid attacks. Drugs are then loaded inside the small packages which can pass through the stomach without degrading. Once the Cholestosome reaches the intestines, the body recognizes it as something to be absorbed. The cells then take it and break it apart, releasing insulin.

Some tests on rats showed that certain formulations of Cholestosome loaded with insulin have high bioavailability or the ability to have an active effect when administered into the body. More animal testing and human trials will further be conducted to optimize the formulation.

Number of cases of diabetes worldwide

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of cases of diabetes in the world has reached to 422 million in 2014 while the global prevalence of the chronic disease among adults over 18 years old stood at 8.5 percent in the same year.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has become one of the world’s emerging diabetes hotspots. The country is home to more than 4 million cases of diabetes and is included in the top 15 in the world for diabetes prevalence. A large unknown number of the people diagnosed with the disease are unaware that they even have diabetes, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reported.

The researchers presented their findings at the national meeting of the ACS last Aug. 24 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Whether the new capsule insulin would hurt the sales of pharmaceutical giants that manufacture injectable insulin would only be known when Cholestosome is finally released for commercial consumption.

What do you think of Cholestosome, which could spare diabetics from daily insulin injections? Let us know in the comments section below.