Home / Resources / Articles / New Smart Insulin for Type 1 Diabetes Adjusts Itself

New Smart Insulin for Type 1 Diabetes Adjusts Itself

Oct 28, 2008

Novel insulin formulation provides for glucose-regulated insulin delivery.

SmartCells, Inc. and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) announced last week a partnership to advance SmartCells’ SmartInsulin(TM) for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. SmartInsulin will be a once-a-day, glucose-regulated subcutaneous insulin formulation for treating diabetes.

SmartInsulin is injectable, like today’s currently available insulins, but designed to maintain continuous, tight control of blood glucose levels while reducing the risk of hypoglycemia — like the pancreas does automatically in the absence of diabetes.

“JDRF’s support will accelerate the commercial development of our SmartInsulin therapy for type 1 diabetes. Our formulation is designed to address the most critical issue in diabetes treatment – achieving tight glucose control without inducing severe hypoglycemic episodes. To accomplish this, patients will only have to inject SmartInsulin once a day using the same needles currently used for conventional insulin. We expect these important treatment benefits will improve patient safety and quality of life while reducing diabetic complications,” said Todd C. Zion, Ph.D., President and CEO of SmartCells. “We are very pleased to have JDRF’s support for this program, and share their commitment to the development of breakthrough treatments for type 1 diabetes.”

“JDRF is committed to supporting the development of unique therapies that can improve metabolic control for people with type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. Aaron Kowalski, JDRF Metabolic Control Program Director. “We believe that glucose-regulated insulin may represent a practical solution to the real needs of people with diabetes, and this collaboration illustrates our dedication to helping innovative companies test concepts and bring their products to patients faster.”

Under the terms of the partnership, the $1 million dollars of funding will support testing the safety and efficacy of SmartInsulin in preclinical type 1 diabetes trials. The partnership is intended to accelerate its development and reduce the time needed to progress to human testing.

SmartInsulin combines glucose sensing and insulin delivery in a single chemical construct that can be applied to the treatment of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Injected subcutaneously, SmartInsulin consists of an insulin payload attached to a biocompatible, biodegradable polymer, which is bound to an engineered glucose-binding molecule. Insulin is released only when the therapeutic is unbound by the presence of a specific glucose concentration. Once the surrounding glucose concentration drops to a target level, the injected dispersion stops releasing insulin, ready for the next glucose challenge. This approach can provide significant treatment benefits, including tight, continuous control of both fasting and mealtime blood glucose levels with a single dose, a significantly reduced risk of hypoglycemia and less frequent glucose monitoring.

SmartCells, Inc. is developing a breakthrough polymer-based dosing technology, invented at M.I.T. by its co-founder and President Todd Zion, which makes it possible to auto-regulate the release of a drug based on the plasma concentration of a molecular indicator. SmartCells is developing a family of SmartInsulin(TM) products that address the needs of diabetics, including the Company’s lead therapeutic formulations for types 1 and 2 diabetes. The Company’s proprietary dosing technology may have broad applicability for infertility, thyroid and growth hormone deficiencies, drug-device combinations, and improving treatments that suffer from poor adherence or a narrow therapeutic window.