Giving one puff of dry glucagon to adults with type 1 diabetes experiencing severe hypoglycemia led to recovery within 30 minutes in nearly all patients, a new study finds.
This intranasal puff of dry glucagon, developed by Eli Lilly, is being tested as a potential alternative to injectable glucagon which is currently the leading treatment for severe hypoglycemia outside of a hospital setting.
This phase III trial found administering one 3-mg dose inside the nose was easy for a caregiver to do in a home setting.
Because injectable glucagon requires several steps, researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis believe simplicity is key to the product’s potential.
Patients were enrolled for the study across the US and Canada, all of whom were aged 18-75 years and had type 1 diabetes. Along with caregivers, they were shown how to use the nasal glucagon.
A total of 157 episodes of hypoglycemia were experienced by 69 patients. In 151 cases, the patients returned to normal or awakened within 30 minutes of drug administration.
“Importantly, in this study, 911 was not called for any of the episodes of severe…or moderate hypoglycemia,” said lead author Dr Elizabeth R Seaquist.
Most caregivers were confident in administering the glucagon: 97 per cent delivered the drug in under two minutes; three-quarters did it in 30 seconds.
Seaquist added that the 3-mg dose has also been tested in children with type 1 diabetes and could too be used by people with type 2 diabetes.
Eli Lilly plans to submit a new drug application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early-2018.
Chad Grothen, global brand development lead, Lilly Diabetes, told Medscape Medical News: “It is premature to comment on when the product will be available in the US, but we are excited to bring this product to market as quickly as possible.”
The findings were presented at the recent American Diabetes Association 2017 Scientific Sessions.

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