As recently published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, Yale researchers have developed an oral medication to treat diabetes that controls insulin levels. It also reverses the inflammatory effects of the major disease. In fact, the drug helps control immediate blood glucose levels, restores pancreatic function, and re-establishes normal immunity in the pancreatic environment. “It’s facilitating normal metabolism as well as correcting immune defects in the long term.” Tarek Fahmy, associate professor of biomedical engineering and of immunobiology, declared.
“This combined approach is what makes this system a promising new therapy for autoimmune disease in general,” he added. One of the major obstacles to creating a successful oral medication for diabetes is that the drug breaks down in the patient’s gastrointestinal system, Not in this case. The drug is based on nanoparticles made from a polymerized ursodeoxycholic acid, a bile acid, in its more natural form as a monomer. The drug delivery system based on nanoparticles is also the basis for Toralgen, a biotechnology company that Fahmy co-founded. The nanoparticles functioned as a protective insulin carrier in the research developed on mices. The study must be completed but will help the prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes. “The potential is enormous for diabetes and other disease states as well,” Fahmy said. Prevalence of diabetes in adults worldwide was estimared to rise to 5.4% by the year 2025.