Ultra-concentrated fast action insulin developed in the UK

by Barbara Hewitt on January 5, 2018

A new ultra-concentrated insulin which acts rapidly is due to be tested in human clinical trials in the UK in 2018 and could lead to pumps becoming even smaller.

The new insulin, which was developed through a partnership between diabetes charity JDRF and pharmaceutical company Arecor, could change the lives of people with type 1 diabetes in particular who have to inject insulin multiple times a day.

Insulin Pump


Insulin is the only treatment for type 1 diabetics and most need to use a mix of different types of insulins to manage their glucose levels throughout the day. Rapid acting insulin is commonly used to manage glucose levels following meals and those who use pumps only use rapid acting insulin.

However, to date, concentrated insulins have been unable to act as fast as rapid acting insulins. This has meant that larger volumes of rapid acting insulin are needed to manage glucose levels following meals.

JDRF therefore partnered up with UK pharmaceutical company Arecor in 2016 to develop a new rapid acting, ultra-concentrated insulin and the new insulin has now been fully tested in the laboratory and the team aim to start clinical trials in humans later this year.

If shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials, the new insulin could greatly improve the quality of life for people living with type 1 diabetes as the ultra-concentrated nature of the insulin means that it could be stored in smaller vials for use in pumps, which could lead to pumps shrinking further in size.

Arecor has also indicated that the ultra-concentrated insulin could be particularly useful for people who require more than 200 units of insulin a day.

‘This is exciting news. This new rapid acting, ultra-concentrated insulin is the first of its kind, and we’re looking forward to the results of the clinical trial. This project really highlights how working with industry can drive things forward for people living with type 1 diabetes,’ said Rachel Connor, director of research partnerships for JDRF UK.

Arecor’s chief executive officer Sarah Howell said such partnerships can deliver substantially improved treatment options for people living with diabetes.

‘The successful development of the ultra-concentrated rapid acting insulin is a very important milestone in Arecor’s mission to develop superior proprietary products that will significantly improve the treatment options and ultimately the quality of life of people living with diabetes,’ she added.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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