Today, just a sampling of some of the interesting stuff presented at last week's Diabetes Technology Society meeting, that will be out on the market in ... um... some years from now (?):
IN-105 Oral Insulin for Type 2 diabetes - Biocon Limited, apparently India's premier biotechnology company, has been developing oral insulin tablets for some years now. Positive research results were announced last year. And they're not just for basal use, either. Studies confirmed that when Type 2 patients were given tablets ahead of meals three times a day, post-prandial glucose levels came down. A new trial is currently underway to explore long-term safety and efficacy (oh yes, that).
Injectable Continuous Ostomotic Glucose Sensor - LifeCare AS out of Bergen, Norway, is working on a CGM that's so tiny it can be implanted without surgery. The product is called SENCELL, and will be injected under the skin on your wrist. The technology is based on osmotic pressure, but please don't ask me to explain the science behind it; something about a "reversible competitive affinity assay" that recognizes changes in glucose levels, and then wirelessly transmits them to an external receiver. All I know now is that the company claims it's the "new frontier in CGM!" SENCELL is currently undergoing laboratory in vitro testing to determine reactions from the immune system. Hmmm.
Raman Spectroscopy = a very high-tech laser-beam type of measurement. A company called C8 Medisensors in San Jose, CA, is using it to develop "an innovative optical technology platform for non-invasive concentration measurement of substances in the human body." For diabetes specifically, they're working on a miniature CGM "that is practical to wear." I haven't seen it yet, but I read that their prototype measures 120 x 60 mm, and 60 mm thick, so that's pretty compact (1 inch is 25.4 mm, btw, for us Americano types).
Ex Vivo Whole Blood Glucose Analyzer - The OPTIMUS system from IntelliDx in Santa Barbara, CA, measures patients' blood in real time via an intravenous line. Which sounds gross, I know. But it's designed, and apparently works very well for, hospitalized patients who have "abnormally elevated sugar levels due to either diabetes or stress as a complication of other diseases, injury or drugs." Glucose control in the hospital is notoriously bad, and has a measurable effect on mortality rates (!), so a solution like this could be a godsend. The OPTIMUS prototype system was successfully tested on more than 50 subjects at two hospital sites where hundreds of measurements compared favorably against the YSI 2300 Glucose Analyzer, which I'm told is the current gold standard for whole blood glucose measurements (but obviously not good enough).
Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery Device from the University of Toronto. This one's purely experimental at the moment. A group of scientists successfully designed and fabricated an implantable self-regulated, glucose-responsive insulin delivery device — something that would be the key to creating a true Artificial Pancreas system. They tested it on rats. It worked well for 5 days. We're getting there.
OrSense Non-Invasive Finger-Reading CGM - Israel's Orsense received European approval for its non-invasive CGM technology last Spring. It uses infrared occlusion spectroscopy to measure glucose via a ring placed on your finger. WOW. According to the company, clinical studies show that its accuracy is "comparable to invasive solutions, while providing superior ease of use and safety." Sound too good to be true? Yeah, I think so too. Can we dare to hope?
Tune in next week to read about one more, similarly futuristic D-technology, that I happen to have a bit more detail on. If it works like they say it does, you are going to like it!