A start up company has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to continue work on developing a basal insulin patch for treating diabetes.
In an age where pain relief and nicotine patches are commonplace, it might seem a wonder why an insulin patch is yet to be available. The answer lays in the fact that insulin molecules are usually too large to pass through the skin. However, the technology developed by the company Prometheon tackles this issue.
The Topicon DM basal basal insulin patch has a layer which, when applied to the skin, melts into a dermoadhesive gel that enhances the passage of insulin through the skin. The patch allows insulin to be delivered steadily over a period of hours matching the action of analogue basal insulin injections.
Delivery of basal insulin by patch has potential for use in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. As well as removing the need for needles, the patch has an additional advantage over injections in that, if blood glucose levels are becoming too low, the patch can be removed and a new patch applied when blood sugar levels have returned to safe levels.
In addition to delivering insulin, the Topicon patch could also have wider uses in delivering other medications that would usually need to be injected and this includes other injectable medication for diabetes such as GLP-1 analogues (incretin mimetics).
The company Prometheon has close links with the University of Florida. The company was founded in 2011 by former University of Florida researcher Stephen Hsu. Prometheon’s attempts to raise money to develop the insulin patch, has hit an early set back. The company had intended to raise $1 million through crowdfunding by the 8th of September but have, to date, raised just over $10,000. The company will likely need to adopt a different means of funding for the project to get back on track.

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