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ACS: New Inhaled Insulin Acts Faster Than Injected Insulin

AFREZZA provides glycemic control with lower risk of hypoglycemia and weight gain

TUESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- A new fast-acting form of inhaled insulin for use at mealtimes provides glycemic control similar to standard insulin treatments with less risk of hypoglycemia and weight gain, according to a study presented at the American Chemical Society's Spring 2010 National Meeting & Exposition, held from March 21 to 25 in San Francisco.

Andrea Leone-Bay, Ph.D., and colleagues from MannKind Corporation in Danbury, Conn., describe the Technosphere delivery technology, in which drugs that would otherwise be broken down in the stomach are absorbed onto the surface of self-assembling microparticles that can be dried, made into a powder, and inhaled.

The inhaled insulin product is called AFREZZA. It is ultra-fast-acting, and its profile closely mimics that of the normal early insulin response seen in healthy individuals, the researchers say. It is intended for use at mealtimes to control rapid rises in blood sugar that occur after meals in people with diabetes. The drug has been extensively studied in more than 4,500 patients and provides similar glycemic control as standard insulin treatments but with a lower risk of hypoglycemia and weight gain. The drug is currently being considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of hyperglycemia in adult patients with diabetes.

"Insulin inhaled as a Technosphere powder is absorbed more rapidly than injected insulin and provides therapeutic advantages," Leone-Bay and colleagues conclude. "This delivery technology is applicable to a wide range of drugs, including obesity and osteoporosis treatments."

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