Insulin is crucial for diabetes patients. While it is important for everyone, diabetics, of course, need it even more because this is the deficiency resultant from the condition.

But a new development has introduced a new diabetes treatment with engineered insulin. Traditional insulin is tricky because, as a medicine, the dosage is not always the same and neither is the timing.

“This is an important advance in insulin therapy,” reports lead study author Danny Chou. The University of Utah assistant professor of biochemistry and USTAR investigator continues, “Our insulin derivative appears to control blood sugar better than anything that is available to diabetes patients right now.”

He explains, too, that he will continue to look into this, evaluating long-term safety and efficacy.

Lead study co-author Matthew Weber adds, “At present, there is no clinically approved glucose-responsive modified insulin.” Weber performed the primary functions of this work with co-authors Chou (above) and Benjamin Tang along with MIT professors Robert Langer and Daniel Anderson. He continues, “The development of such an approach could contribute to greater therapeutic autonomy for diabetic patients.”

MIT Department of Chemical Engineering Samuel A. Goldblith Associate Professor, Daniel Anderson, attests, “The real challenge is getting the right among of insulin available when you need it, because if you have too little insulin your blood sugar goes up, and if you have too much, it can go dangerously low.” The MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research member and Institute for Medicine Engineering and Science member, continues, “Currently available insulins act independent of the sugar levels in the patient.”

Chou goes on to say, “Before, a ‘smart’ insulin really meant delivering insulin differently. Ins-PBA-F fits the true definition of ‘smart’ insulin, where the insulin itself is glucose responsive. It is the first in its class.”