Glycoinsulin : New Fibril Free Insulin Compound Developed To Improve Therapy For Diabetes Patients
A breakthrough discovery that could improve the clinical delivery of insulin
for people living with diabetes
, medical scientists from Australia have developed a non-fibrillating
form of human insulin
Utilizing a novel glycosylation technique, an international research team led by Associate Professor Dr Akhter Hossain from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, has successfully synthesised an insulin
analogue called glycoinsulin
that demonstrates the same glucose-lowering effects as native insulin
in preclinical studies without fibril
Most often, fibrils
can arise when insulin
compounds aggregate together forming clumps. For people with diabetes
who rely on pump infusions to administer insulin
pose serious risk in blocking the delivery of insulin
which can potentially lead to life threatening under-dosing.
Dr Hossain said that the discovery of glycoinsulin
presents a promising solution for patients.
Dr Hossain told Thailand Medical
News, "Not only did our research demonstrate that glycoinsulin
does not form fibrils
, even at high temperature and concentration, but also that it is more stable in human serum than native insulin
. Together these findings could position glycoinsulin
as an excellent candidate for use in insulin
pumps and a way to improve the shelf life of insulin
products. We now hope to streamline the manufacturing process for glycoinsulin
so this compound can be further investigated in larger, clinical studies."
More than 25,000 people in Australia and 350,000 people in the United States use insulin
pumps as part of their diabetes
pump infusion sets are required to be replaced every 24 hours to 72 hours to mitigate the occurrence of fibrils
, in what can cause significant patient burden and medicine wastage. In the USA alone, more than US$1 billion could be saved per year if the usage period for insulin
increased from two to six days.
Significant to the success of the study was the engineering of an insulin
-sugar complex from egg yolks using a method jointly developed by collaborators, Associate Professor Ryo Okamoto and Professor Yasuhiro Kajihara, from Osaka University, Japan.
Dr John Wade, a Professor from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health who co-led the research commented to Thailand Medical News
on the landmark success of the research, "Typically, the chemical modification of insulin
causes structural destabilisation and inactivation, but we were able to successfully synthesise glycoinsulin
in a way that retains its insulin
-like helical structure. The result is an almost fully active insulin analogue which has demonstrated near-native binding to insulin receptors in both lab and animal studies."
Professor Greg Johnson, CEO of Diabetes
Australia welcomed the research findings saying they had the potential to make life easier for people living with diabetes
who use insulin
Professor Johnson commented, "It is nearly 100 years since the discovery of insulin
and it's very exciting that we see new discoveries for insulin
, and insulin
-like molecules, that have the potential to ease the day to day burden and cost for people with diabetes
Reference : Mohammed Akhter Hossain et al, Total Chemical Synthesis of a Nonfibrillating Human Glycoinsulin, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2019). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b11424