Stanford University is developing a new type of insulin, known as ultrafast. It will help patients with diabetes to control their blood sugar. It begins to act immediately after the injection. The first tests showed that the new drug works four times faster than all existing insulin preparations. The concept of the new development focuses on monomeric insulin.
It has a special molecular basis, which, according to the scientists, can act faster than other analogues of the drug. But there is one problem that monomeric insulin is unstable for practical use.
To do that, the researchers proposed to turn the molecular structure into the "magic dust." It can be in the bottle, and thus the stability problem could be resolved. Eric Appel, who is an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University, believes that he and his colleagues decided to focus on inactive ingredients, that is, on supplements, the use of which improved the quality of the drug.
The scientists tested a large number of additive polymers and found the components that are able to stabilize monomeric insulin for more than 24 hours under the stressful conditions, while another type of drug leaves insulin stable for 6-10 hours.
The search for a suitable polymer was carried out using a computer-based approach involving about 1,500 candidates. It took scientists several weeks to find the very polymer that they called "magic dust."
The experiment with pigs who had a confirmed diagnosis showed not only an encouraging result, but also the high efficiency of the new drug. The polymer dramatically increased the duration of stability for a month.