Novo Nordisk Initiates Phase 1 Testing Of Oral Insulin
Posted Dec 27 2009 12:00am
Novo Nordisk A/S has initiated Phase 1 testing, using 80 German volunteer subjects, of an "insulin pill". Preliminary results are expected to be available in 2011. Insulin, as a protein, if taken orally, must be in a form able to withstand the digestive process initiated by saliva in the mouth and completed by stomach acid and digestive juices. A patented delivery system, developed by Merrion Pharmaceuticals, an Ireland-based research and development partner of Novo Nordisk, is being used. The delivery system is known as GIPET (gastrointestinal permeation enhancement technology) and it facilitates absorption in the intestinal tract. Essentially, the "insulin pill" has a coating that resists digestion until it reaches the duodenum (first part of the small intestine).