HEALTH

Diabetes, soon insulin only once a week: new therapy could revolutionize everything

Medical research is ready to bring a new type of insulin to the market, subject to regulatory approval, that is administered weekly (instead of daily as is the case today). For patients with type 2 diabetes (who are often elderly or frail individuals), this could thus be switched from 365 injections to just 52.

This research was carried out by a combined study of researchers published in two different journals, namely 'Jama' and the 'New England Journal of Medicine'. The study was a comparative examination, in about 600 subjects who had never taken insulin before, of the efficacy and safety of a new weekly-dose insulin (icodec) with that of two different daily-dose insulins already in use.

The new product showed small but clear benefits after six months from the start of intake, with very few cases (one per year per patient on average) of hypoglycaemia.

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A new weekly-dose insulin
Medical research is ready to bring a new type of insulin to the market, subject to regulatory approval, that is administered weekly (instead of daily as is the case today). For patients with type 2 diabetes (who are often elderly or frail individuals), this could thus be reduced from 365 injections to just 52.
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The study
This research was carried out by a combined study of researchers published in two different journals, namely 'Jama' and the 'New England Journal of Medicine'. The study was a comparative examination, in about 600 subjects who had never taken insulin before, of the efficacy and safety of a new weekly-dose insulin (icodec) with that of two different daily-dose insulins already in use.
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Apparent advantages and disadvantages
The study showed that after more or less six months from the start of the treatment, the product administered weekly showed a slight efficacy advantage in its ability to maintain good glycated haemoglobin levels. In 'Jama', however, it was also written that the new drug presented a very slight increase in the risk of hypoglycaemias, although the number of cases is very small (less than 1 episode per year per patient).
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The words of Roberto Trevisan (pt. 1)
Roberto Trevisan, Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Milan-Bicocca and Director of Diabetology at the ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo, explains to 'SkyTg24': 'This new molecule has the potential to simplify the treatment of diabetes requiring insulin therapy, eliminating the inconvenience of daily injections for patients and thus increasing adherence to insulin therapy'.
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The words of Roberto Trevisan (pt. 2)
Trevisan, who is one of the authors of the study, also speaks of a 'true epochal change and a marked improvement in the quality of life of diabetic patients'. Worldwide, an estimated 500 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes.
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Now missing the final approval
What is lacking at the moment, before it can go into mass production for the world market, is approval by the bodies that regulate the new drugs. Among the many advantages of this new therapy is the simplification of work for doctors dealing with diabetics who require insulin, especially those in long-term residential care facilities
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