Breaking news today: MannKind Corp. has announced results from a Phase 2 clinical study of its new, powder-form inhaled insulin in people with Type 1 diabetes. Patients showed improved A1c levels, lower postprandial BGs (less blood sugar spikes after meals), and weight loss, too. In other words, patients using the TechnoSphere inhaler fared at least as well as those using rapid-acting insuling to cover meals. MannKind gets an A for effort!
But what about lung damage?
"After 12 weeks of treatment, pulmonary function did not differ between the two patient groups as measured by FEV1, the volume of air that can be forced out in one second after taking a deep breath, and DLCO, a measure of gas exchange capacity of the lung..."
Nice, but we all know that 12 weeks is not nearly long enough to evaluate the damage that might accompany long-term use of inhaled insulin.
Nevertheless, I felt a pang of remorse. As you may know, I was invited to join this study, but turned it down on the basis of practical concerns. It was the right thing to do, for me. And yet...
It's great to see MannKind Corp. making progress with a product that looks like a very appealing alternative to Exubera, with its large and bulky inhaler device. MannKind's little purple dealy definitely has much more of a "cool factor." Which is important, when you live on the stuff.
Meanwhile, Exubera got a thumbs-down from authorities in Europe this week based on its exuberant (er, exorbitant) price tag. See my "Weekly Nuggets" section for more links.