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New Stable Glucagon Solution Reaches Phase 2 Clinical Trials

May 8, 2014

Promising new glucagon formulation in development…. 

A new formulation of glucagon may be on its way its way, according to an announcement posted recently by the Texas-based biopharmaceutical company Xeris Pharmaceuticals.

Glucagon is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that works together with insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. When blood glucose levels are low, glucagon acts on the liver to convert glycogen into glucose – in contrast to insulin which decreases blood glucose levels by increasing the uptake of glucose into cells throughout the body.

In diabetic patients who are on insulin and certain oral anti-diabetic medications, hypoglycemia is a constant risk.

In an episode of severe hypoglycemia, glucagon administration is vital. As of now, there are no glucagon products approved by the FDA for use as a ready-to-use formulation.

The new formulation of glucagon in development by Xeris is a stable solution that can be administered as is. This opens up new possibilities, allowing it to be utilized not only in an emergency setting but also in maintenance setting in medical devices, such as insulin pumps.

The use of this glucagon solution is being investigated in the Phase 2 clinical study in an Insulet Corporation OmniPod® infusion pump. Xeris’ G-Pump™ (glucagon infusion).

Using glucagon in conjunction with insulin, in a pump will allow glycemic control to more closely mimic that from the natural pancreas. This formulation of glucagon has potential future uses in a bi-hormonal artificial pancreas.

Practice Pearls:
  • A stable, ready-to-use solution of glucagon is in clinical trials with potential uses in the development of a bi-hormonal artificial pancreas pumps
  • The development of a bi-hormonal artificial pancreas may allow type 1 diabetics better control over their blood glucose levels
  • Better control over blood glucose may result in decrease risk of macro- and microvascular diabetes-related complications