A new weekly insulin shot that lasts for 196 hours is currently under development in a move that bis likely to improve health outcomes for people living diabetes.
Article Originally Published By Medical Health Today
The new modified version of insulin is called Insulin icodec and has undergone two trials and according to experts, the fact that it lasts 196 hours in the body makes it ideal as a once in week treatment. Two phase 2 trials including hundreds of participants with type 2 diabetes from several countries assessed the safety and efficacy of this long-acting form of insulin.
The findings of the team’s two studies indicate that the new injectable may be a viable option for people currently injecting insulin once a day or more often. One trial found that using injectable insulin icodec once a week was as effective as using a standard injectable form of insulin once a day. The other trial found that it seems to be safe and effective to transition from a standard daily insulin injectable to weekly icodec injections.
Both of the studies were phase 2 trials. These can include 100–300 participants with the same health-related issue who receive doses and use or undergo treatment methods shown to be safe in earlier phase 1 studies.
In both of the new trials, every participant was also taking an oral glucose-reducing medication that was not insulin, such as metformin. The studies were then randomized, which means that the participants were randomly assigned to get further doses and medications. Both were also open-label trials Trusted Source, which means that the researchers and participants knew what treatments they were using.
Each study was conducted slightly differently and included varying numbers of participants with type 2 diabetes who were from different countries.
One study included 205 participants, from the U.S., Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Croatia, and Slovakia, who were not currently using insulin.
In this trial, the participants were screened for 2 weeks, received treatment for 16 weeks, and followed up for 5 weeks. The study tested three ways of adjusting and optimizing insulin dosage. The goal was to see which lowered blood sugar levels the most while preventing them from dipping too low.
The other study included 154 participants, from the U.S., Canada, Czechia, Italy, and Germany, who already use insulin. The researchers followed them for 23 weeks to assess how best to transition from daily to weekly insulin injections.
Both studies found that insulin icodec was just as effective as the commonly used daily insulin glargine injections. The researchers also found that transitioning from a daily injectable form of insulin to a weekly insulin icodec injection was safe and well-tolerated. In addition, participants who used a double dose of insulin icodec as their first injection reached optimal glucose target levels faster than those who did not.
The study authors say that their findings could be very good news, both for people currently using daily injectable insulin and those who may need to. They describe their results as a “game-changer,” particularly for people who need multiple injections throughout the day.
In email correspondence with Medical News Today, the lead author of one of the study papers and a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Ildiko Lingvay, wrote:
“The biggest advantage of having once-weekly insulin is convenience for the patients. It is the difference between taking seven injections [and] one injection.”
“We hope that having the option of once-weekly insulin will also improve acceptance of insulin treatment, as well as compliance, which should translate into better glucose control and lower diabetes-related complications,” Dr. Ildiko Lingvay.