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Liquid glucagon formulation discovered for potential use in artificial pancreas systems
Date:6/12/2012

er both insulin and glucagon, or other drugs.

Glucagon is a naturally occurring hormone that responds to hypoglycemia (extreme low blood sugar) by raising blood sugars, but its regulation is impaired in people with T1D. It works to complement the function of insulin to provide the natural fine-tuning of blood glucose control. Previous studies have shown that the addition of glucagon to insulin treatment reduces the frequency of hypoglycemia in T1D, more closely mimicking the physiology of someone without diabetes.

Commercially available glucagon does not maintain its liquid form after the powder and solution are combined, making it suitable only for immediate use. Dr. Ward and his team found that raising the pH of the glucagon allowed the hormone to maintain liquid form, and concluded that this formulation could be suitable for use in a closed-loop bi-hormonal pump.

"We have seen very promising results in our studies of artificial pancreas systems that utilize both insulin and glucagon. But for people with diabetes to realize this potential benefit, we need glucagon that is stable and can be used in a pump," said Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D., JDRF's senior director of treat therapies. "Dr. Ward's research is promising and steers us toward more tangible solutions along the path toward a multi-hormonal, fully-automated closed loop artificial pancreas."

The artificial pancreas combines a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and an insulin pump via sophisticated computer software, to provide the right amount of insulin at the right times for people with diabetes. In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first artificial pancreas outpatient trial in the United States. Researchers envision future generations of the device to automatically deliver more than one hormone, in addition to insulin, to more closely perform the functions of a non-diabetic human pancreas.


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Contact: William Sorensen
wsorensen@jdrf.org
212-479-7558
JDRF
Source:Eurekalert

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