Are you tired of injecting insulin daily? Then you may be happy to know that this problem will not last for too long. Researchers are in the process of introducing two new “once-weekly” insulin injections.
Two independent research groups working on once-weekly insulin have recently presented their data at the 2023 Advanced Technologies and Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD) conference in Berlin. The first research, conducted by Novo Nordisk in collaboration with UT-Southwestern Medical Center, revolves around the effectiveness of Icodec – a new once-weekly basal insulin still under the research and development stage. Velocity Clinical Research Studies is conducting the second research focussing on the impact of Efsitora Alfa (also known as basal insulin Fc, or BIF) – another once-weekly insulin.
The researchers from both groups have conducted a positive result that was proven equally effective in reducing the HbA1c level compared to any conventional once-daily basal insulin. They have also claimed that this new weekly insulin can overcome multiple challenges associated with traditional daily insulin shots.
What do the Experts Claim?
Is once-weekly insulin shots the new answer to effective diabetes management?
Julio Rosenstock, MD, a clinical professor of medicine at UT-Southwestern Medical Center, while speaking about Icodec basal insulin at the 2023 Advanced Technologies and Treatments for Diabetes conference in Berlin, stated that the availability of once-weekly basal insulins could overcome the struggles that “historically come” with taking daily insulin shots. He added that people with type 2 diabetes would definitely prefer administering only 52 weekly injections to 365 daily injections in a year.
The second research around Efsitora Alfa involves a five-part trial on 650 volunteers. It compares the outcomes of replacing the conventional once-daily insulin Degludec with the latest once-weekly insulin Efsitora Alfa. Juan Pablo Frías, MD, medical director and principal investigator of Velocity Clinical Research, claimed that subjects taking weekly Efsitora experienced less hypoglycemia and better A1C reduction.
Estimated time of completion:
UT-Southwestern Medical Center is in the final stage of its research and will file for regulatory approval in the United States, EU, and China by the end of this year. It may take a few more months for them to reach the market.
Velocity Clinical Research with Efsitora will complete on April 19, 2024.
What we can hope from these ongoing research programs:
These research programs may have many positive impacts on the diabetes community. Firstly, it may reduce the expenses associated with diabetes management. With reduced doses, we can predict some reduction in the cost. However, we are yet to learn about the expected selling prices of these products.
Diabetes patients can be more flexible with their lifestyle routine, with less stress about maintaining a specific insulin injection schedule, as a weekly dose will adequately suffice their needs for the next few days.
Diabetes patients who go through the painful process of administering insulin daily will find some relief. It will give them enough time to heal before they administer the second dose.
Will you administer these once-weekly insulin once they hit the market?