A new type of insulin touted as “the first of its kind” is set to undergo clinical trials this year.
So far, concentrated insulins have not been able to work as quickly as currently available rapid-acting insulins like NovoRapid, Humalog and Apidra. But this new insulin is unique because it acts rapidly and, as it as ultra-concentrated, could lead to smaller insulin pumps that are easier to wear.
The insulin could also be useful for people with diabetes who require more than 200 units of insulin a day.
It was developed by the charity JDRF and the pharmaceutical company Arecor in 2016 and has been successful in laboratory tests. The next stage is to see how well the drug works in humans before it can be made available to members of the public.
Rachel Connor, director of research partnerships for JDRF UK, said: “This is exciting news. This new rapid-acting, ultra-concentrated insulin is the first of its kind, and we’re looking forward to the results of the clinical trial. This project really highlights how working with industry can drive things forward for people living with type 1.”
Benedict Jephcote, Editor of Diabetes.co.uk, welcomed the new research. He said: “Insulin pumps have been getting steadily smaller over the years, but the size of the insulin reservoir currently impacts how small pumps can go.
“If the new insulin proves successful in humans, insulin pumps will be able to use smaller reservoirs to carry the same number of units of insulin and this will allow smaller insulin pumps to be manufactured. It also means that insulin pens could become more compact too.”
If this new insulin is shown to be safe and effective in trials this year, it could open up a new method of treatment to help people with type 1 diabetes.
Arecor’s chief executive officer Sarah Howell added: “The support from JDRF has been invaluable and we look forward to continuing to build this fruitful partnership to deliver our shared common future objectives – namely to deliver substantially improved treatment options for people living with diabetes.”

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