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July 15, 2010

India develops one-shot insulin for diabetics

NEW DELHI: In a major breakthrough, Indian scientists claimed on Tuesday to 've developed one-shot insulin Supramolecular Insulin Assembly-II (SIA-II) which can help diabetics control blood sugar levels for almost two months.
Developed by National Immunology Institute (NII), New Delhi, scientists, SIA-II is said to 've tremendous therapeutic potential & is expected to constitute a new way of treatment for diabetes patients around the world.

At present, diabetics go through the trauma of pricking themselves daily, while many even take 90 insulin shots a month. But a single shot of SIA-II would continuously release just above basal levels of insulin into blood in a sustained manner, curbing the increase in glucose levels after meals. It also does not cause severe hypoglycaemia in the morning, a dreadful condition faced by diabetics.

“A patient has to now take only a single shot of insulin to keep sugar levels under control for over a month. Besides providing relief from the trauma of pricking oneself daily, the drug counters bad effects of diabetes such as cataract & kidney failure,” Avadhesha Surolia, NII director & head of the research team, said.

The breakthrough came after a research of almost three years & at a cost of over Rs20 lakh. NII scientists 've patented the technology & transferred it to a US company which will conduct clinical trials on humans for toxicity. Surolia said it will take another 4-6 years for the insulin shot to reach the market. The innovation is one of the biggest to 've come from a government research laboratory & the Indian medical community is impressed.

“This is an exciting research. However, the drug system has been tested only on rats & there is a long way to go before it benefits patients,” Anoop Misra, head of diabetes & metabolic diseases at Fortis Hospitals, New Delhi, said.

SIA-II was successfully tested on rats which demonstrated lower blood glucose levels to normal values up to 120 days.

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