Dr Mann, the trend setting, future making legend of the medgadget world, is betting a good chunk of his sizable fortune on Technosphere Insulin. Being developed by MannKind Corp, Technosphere is an inhaled form of insulin that has a fast response time and is quickly metabolized, for rapid action after meals, while not lasting too long. Potentially having serious advantages over Pfizer’s flopped Exubera, like not requiring a bong-sized device to administer, Technosphere Insulin, if approved by the FDA, may turn out to be a boon for the industry. And Dr Mann is betting big.
The distinguishing feature of Technosphere Insulin is that it goes to work faster than any other insulin on the market, even so-called fast-acting injected insulins. That could be better at helping control the spike in blood sugar levels that occurs after a meal.
Technosphere Insulin also finishes its work of helping the body use glucose in two or three hours, faster than other products. That might reduce the risk of dangerously low glucose levels several hours after a meal – a big concern for diabetics.
“That it is inhaled is incidental to the very rapid onset of its action and the short duration of its action,” said Dr. Jay Skyler, a diabetes expert at the University of Miami, who has bought stock in MannKind.
The International Diabetes Federation issued guidelines in September urging better control of glucose spikes after meals, saying there was evidence they could contribute to complications of diabetes even if average blood sugar levels were kept in control.
But there is disagreement about this, and some studies have not shown a risk from such spikes. Dr. David M. Nathan, director of the diabetes center at Massachusetts General Hospital, contends that the new emphasis on glucose spikes after meals was “all marketing talk” by companies developing fast-acting drugs.
In any case, MannKind has yet to show its insulin is better than others, and there is some suggestion it might even be too short-acting. In clinical trials it has lowered average glucose less than a fast-acting injected insulin, though the differences were not statistically significant.
Read the rest at the New York Times…