For people with Type 1 (juvenile onset) Diabetes (T1D), daily life is a system of checks and balances. While times have gotten better with the advent of insulin pumps and less-invasive testing systems, there are still challenges to living with the disease. Sensulin, a company based out of Oklahoma, has developed a unique drug delivery method that acts similarly to a healthy pancreas. This Agglomerated Vesicle Technology (AVT) could also find its way to working with other drugs that require a stimulant response.
To better understand the problem that Sensulin is solving, we need to step back to look at its cause. T1D is caused by the body attacking the beta cells in the pancreas that create insulin. This inability for the body to create its own insulin means that the blood glucose level cannot be regulated through biological means. The T1D patient is therefore required to test multiple times daily, and regulate their insulin level through injection or via a pump. Missed meals, exercise, or high-glycemic foods can all cause sudden swings in blood glucose levels, leading to potentially dangerous (or even fatal) conditions.
Suffice it to say, multiple daily injections are far from convenient, and medication adherence is a constant concern for both the patient and the treating doctor. While there have been advances in an “artificial pancreas” — a device that would provide constant monitoring and insulin adjustment — that look promising, there is a cost concern as estimates range between $5,000 to $8,000 for the device itself plus thousands more each year for disposable sensors.
Sensulin’s Agglomerated Vesicle Technology takes a tested and verified method and adds a new element. AVT uses an insulin-containing liposome that has a boronate “glue” that will dissolve in the presence of sugar. As this glue dissolves, the AVT can release insulin into the body and regulate blood glucose levels back to a normal range.
T1D treatment is just the first stop for Sensulin. The company is also making strides in its research to bring the AVT system to other drugs that could benefit from stimulus triggers such as hypoxia or inflammation.
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Image Credit: Sensulin