Sea snail venom used to create a new type of insulin was reported by Ryan Morrison for the, 1 June 2020.

Insulin developed from the venom of a predatory sea snail could be used to create a ‘safer and more effective’ diabetes treatment, researchers claim.  It mimics the ultra-fast-acting properties of the sea snail venom to lower blood sugar levels, without long-term side effects seen in other types of diabetes treatment. University of Utah scientists developed what they call the world’s smallest, fully functional version of the insulin hormone from the venom.

    • Cone snails spray insulin venom into the water to lower the blood sugar of fish 
    • This snail insulin is faster acting than regular human insulin and ‘ready to go’
    • Snail venom is also much less potent than human insulin so the scientists had to develop a way to make it more potent before it would work in human patients

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Statin use may lead to ‘unintended consequence’ of insulin resistance was reported by Regina Schaffer for, 5 June 2020. 

A cohort of Canadian adults prescribed statins, and hydrophilic statins, in particular, had higher levels of insulin resistance compared with non-statin users, according to findings published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

“There is emerging data to suggest that by inhibiting the production of intermediates of cholesterol biosynthesis, statins also inhibit the mevalonate pathway and impede the production of vitamin K2 in peripheral tissues,” Rachel M. Holden, MD, a nephrologist and associate professor in the department of medicine at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues wrote in the study background. “There is growing evidence to suggest that vitamin K2 plays a key role in glucose homeostasis as well as vascular calcification. On this background, we hypothesized that statin use would be associated with both insulin resistance and vascular calcification in community-dwelling participants of a large longitudinal study of osteoporosis.”

Read more:  Statin use may lead to ‘unintended consequence’ of insulin resistance

12 Diabetes Problems That New “Smart” Insulin Pens Can Solve was written by Wil Dubois for, 27 May 2020. 

Picture an insulin pen that remembers how much insulin you’ve taken and exactly when you took it. A pen that shares data with your smartphone or watch, helps you calculate a meal bolus, keeps tabs on your insulin on board (IOB), can recommend the right amount of insulin to correct a high, and delivers accurate half-unit doses.

That’s not all: Imagine that the pen plays nice with your other diabetes gear, by sharing data. It has a sleek, modern design with mechanical action reminiscent of a fine Swiss watch. It can use different brands of insulin, so it’s no trouble if your health insurance plan changes its “preferred” brand.

We’re talking about the new generation of “smart” insulin pens (S-pens, for short).  Smart pens are the next big thing in insulin delivery, with Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences researcher Nikhil A. Sangave and his colleagues estimating the S-pen market will jump from $59 million seen in 2016 to $123 million in the next several years — with a sustained U.S. growth rate of over 25 percent per year.

Read more:  New “Smart” Insulin Pens Solve Problems

Insulet resumes pivotal study of smartphone-controlled insulin delivery system, reported by Insulet Corporation, 5 June 2020.  YIPPPEEEE! 

Emerging from COVID-19 disruptions, Insulet has resumed its pivotal study, paused in March, of Omnipod, Powered by Horizon, its smartphone-controlled automated insulin delivery system.  The company expects to launch it commercially in the U.S. in H1 2021 pending 510(k) clearance.

Studies Explore the Question: ‘Has My Insulin Gone Bad?’ was reported by Mike Hoskins for, 1 June 2020. 

This frequent uncertainty over insulin quality is scary stuff to those of us who rely on this medication to survive. We spend outrageous amounts of money for our prescription insulin, and we trust these Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared medications are being handled properly as they travel to a local pharmacy, or to our doors via a mail-order supplier.

A new study published in April offers some reassurance that insulin being sold at U.S. pharmacies is, in fact, up to required standards of safety and efficacy once it reaches people with diabetes, like us. That finding counters an earlier controversial study that raised doubt and pointed to supply chain issues negatively impacting insulin quality.

“During such an unprecedented time, it’s more important than ever for people with T1D to feel safe. This study reaffirms our confidence in the safety and effectiveness of insulin products,” said Dr. Aaron Kowalski, president and CEO of JDRF, who lives with type 1 diabetes himself.

Read more:  ‘Has My Insulin Gone Bad?’

Is nasal glucagon a good alternative to injectable glucagon for patients with diabetes that develop hypoglycemia? was published by, 1 March 2020. 

This study compared two ways to administer glucagon to stop hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood glucose) in patients with diabetes. The results showed that nasal glucagon (Baqsimi) was as effective as injectable glucagon, with similar side effects.

Disclaimer:  The manufacturer of nasal glucagon, Eli Lilly, funded this study. This study would benefit by including more patients and examining other drugs that patients are taking. This study did not compare nasal and injectable glucagon in unconscious patients with hypoglycemia. Also, this study was limited by the fact that all patients were Japanese and that there were not many elderly patients included in the study and so may not reflect other patients’ responses.

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