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It’s In the News, a look at the top stories and headlines from the diabetes community happening now. Top stories this week: a new insulin pump gets FDA approval, once-weekly basal insulin for type 2 gets through another trial, New Jersey caps insulin prices for some, possible link between ability to chew and glucose control, a landmark diabetes study moves on to aging and T1D, JDRF Children’s Congress and more!
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Hello and welcome to Diabetes Connections In the News! I’m Stacey Simms and these are the top diabetes stories and headlines happening now
In the news is brought to you by AG1. AG1 helps you build your health,
Our top story, Tandem’s Mobi Pump is approved. The FDA cleared the tiny pump for people with diabetes ages six and up. Tandem says mobie is fully controllable from a mobile app and is the world’s smallest durable AID system. It still has a button on the pump to dose and holds 200 units. You use the same infusion set as the current Tandem pumps and Mobi uses Control IQ. Limited release planned for late this year and fully available early 2024.
Learning more about a newly approved therapy for type 1 diabetes called Lantidra. Two safety and efficacy studies found that 21 participants who took Lantidra did not need to administer themselves insulin for a year or more. Twelve of those participants did not need to take insulin for up to 5 years, and 9 did not need insulin for over 5 years.
Lantidra is an allogeneic (donor) pancreatic islet cellular therapy. In other words, Lantidra uses cells taken — or isolated — from human organ donor pancreases. “In [a] subsequent process, the insulin-producing islets are purified from the rest of the pancreatic tissue using a density gradient. Once the islets are isolated, purified, and put for a short time in cell culture, the cell preparation is infused into the liver of the recipient,” he explained.
Once weekly basal insulin for type 2 gets through another trial. After 26 weeks of treatment and five weeks of follow-up, patients on weekly insulin icodec had significantly larger improvements in their HbA1C than those using daily insulin. Both groups had an extremely low rate of adverse events. These researches say next step is FDA evaluation.
That’s the idea behind Fractyl Health’s treatment for type 2 diabetes—which could also be used for weight control. The Lexington, Massachusetts-based biotech company is in the early stages of developing a one-time gene therapy intended to lower blood sugar and body weight using the same mechanism as semaglutide. “You have this problem where you need to stay on therapy for efficacy,” says Harith Rajagopalan, a cardiologist by training and CEO and cofounder of Fractyl Health. “That’s the Achilles heel.” The company wants to deliver an artificial gene to the pancreas that continuously produces the GLP-1 hormone so there’s no need for weekly injections. The approach, called gene therapy, uses inactivated viruses to carry a therapeutic gene to pancreatic cells. (Viruses are used because of their natural ability to deliver genetic material to cells.) The company is aiming to begin an initial human trial by the end of 2024
Gov. Phil Murphy signed three bills into law Monday aimed at cutting the high cost of prescription drugs in New Jersey.
The new laws will cap how much residents will pay for some popular medications such as insulin, prevent pharmacy benefit managers from engaging in practices that make drugs more expensive, and create a panel that will monitor prices set by pharmaceutical companies. One measure (S1614) would cap the cost of insulin, epinephrine auto-injector devices and asthma inhalers for state and local public workers enrolled in the State Health Benefits Program, the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program and other state-regulated plans. For a 30-day supply, insulin will cost $35, EpiPens $25 and asthma inhalers would be capped at $50, according to the bill. The law takes effect next year.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Tuesday it has extended its probe into Novo Nordisk’s (NOVOb.CO) diabetes drugs Ozempic and weight-loss treatment Saxenda, following two reports of suicidal thoughts, to include other drugs in the same class.
The agency began its review on July 3 after Iceland’s health regulator flagged the reports of patients thinking about suicide and one case of thoughts of self harm after use of Novo’s drugs.
We often hear that diabetes can lead to problems with your teeth.. but one researcher says it might be the other way around. A University at Buffalo researchers says there is a notable correlation between chewing functionality and blood glucose levels in people with type 2.
Specifically, he found that patients with T2D who maintain a full chewing ability exhibit significantly lower blood glucose levels compared to those with compromised chewing function. The thinking here is that chewing stimulates the body in all sorts of ways, including releasing hormones that help you feel fuller and help in digestion. More studies are expected.
The next step of the landmark Diabetes Control and Complications Trial will focus on aging with type 1 diabetes.
The original randomized DCCT clinical trial results, published September 30, 1993, in the New England Journal of Medicine, proved that early intensive glycemic control was the key to preventing or slowing the progression of long-term eye, kidney, and nerve complications of type 1 diabetes. Subsequently, EDIC has yielded many more major findings including that early tight glycemic control also reduces cardiovascular risk and prolongs survival in type 1 diabetes.
subsequent EDIC data also have suggested that it is never too late to initiate intensive glycemic control
Together, DCCT and EDIC — both funded by the National Institutes of Health at 27 sites in the United States and Canada — have changed the standard of care for people with type 1 diabetes Prior to the DCCT, between 1930 and 1970, about a third of people with type 1 diabetes developed vision loss and one in five experienced kidney failure and/or myocardial infarction. Stroke and amputation were also common, DCCT/EDIC chair David M. Nathan, MD, said while introducing the symposium.
“All of the advances in care of type 1 diabetes have developed because this study demonstrated that it was important — continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), new insulins, better [insulin] pumps…I think the most profound finding is that mortality in our intensively treated cohort is the same as in the general population. That says it all,” Nathan told Medscape Medical News.
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Today, JDRF, the leading global type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy organization, urged members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to renew the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) and support policies to ensure insulin is available at an affordable and predictable price. Opened by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and led by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the hearing took place during the 2023 JDRF Children’s Congress, a biennial event that brings over 160 kids and teens living with T1D face-to-face with lawmakers and top decision-makers. The youth delegates traveled to Washington, D.C. from across the country and JDRF’s international affiliates in the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada.
The SDP has accelerated the pace of T1D research through a long-term investment of funding at the National Institutes of Health. The program has led to significant scientific breakthroughs, including Tzield, the first disease-modifying treatment for T1D, which can delay the onset of the disease by over two years. Without Congressional action, the SDP will expire at the end of September.
“The Special Diabetes Program has fundamentally changed what it means to live with diabetes, put new life-changing therapies in our hands, and brought us closer to cures,” said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF CEO. “We must keep this momentum going so we can capitalize on the progress to date and realize cures. However, until we have cures, people need access to affordable insulin. JDRF urges Congress to pass the bipartisan INSULIN Act of 2023, which will establish a $35 per month insulin copay cap for people with commercial insurance and includes other provisions that would make insulin more affordable for everyone, regardless of insurance status.”
Dr. Kowalski was joined at the hearing by Dr. Griffin Rodgers, Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, who provided testimony on the scientific value of the SDP, and Jimmy Jam, award-winning producer, songwriter, musician, member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and T1D parent.
“My son Max, who is now in his twenties, was just two years old when he was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Late nights working on music became late nights working on music and waking up my son to test and manage his blood sugar levels,” said Jimmy Jam. “Type 1 diabetes should be one of those things we can all agree on. Diabetes doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. We can all agree that there should be research to improve the lives of those with diabetes. We can all agree that insulin should be affordable for all who need it.”
Two 2023 JDRF Children’s Congress delegates shared their T1D experience with the committee:
Maria Muayad: 10-year-old Maria is from Maine and is a member of her school’s civil rights club and math challenge group. Every November, Maria, and her mother, Golsin, give blue ribbons to the staff at her school in honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month.
Elise Cataldo: 15-year-old Elise lives in New Hampshire and is passionate about educating those around her about life with T1D and tries to use things like pump site changes and blood sugar checks as opportunities to help others learn.
Following the hearing, the 2023 JDRF Children’s Congress delegates continued their advocacy by meeting with lawmakers in their Capitol Hill offices.
A 23-year-old with type 1 diabetes has broken the record for circumnavigating Britain in a kayak after paddling 2,000 miles in 40 days. Dougal Glaisher beat the previous record by 27 days.
Glaisher was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 19 shortly after winning the Oban Sea Kayak race in Scotland, when he had blurred vision and struggled to recover his energy.
The expedition was to raise money for the UK-based charity Action4Diabetes and Glaisher livestreamed his blood sugar
On Tuesday he was well stocked with a bunch of bananas and a stash of cereal bars lashed to his boat. But in remote areas it was more challenging. Around the islands off Scotland he ran out of freeze-dried meals and survived on porridge for several days. He also sourced drinking water from streams.
. It is the first time anyone has used a surfski – a kayak that you sit on top of – to paddle around the country.
On the podcast next week.. I sat down with Dexcom’s new Chief Commercial officer to talk about their announcements from this week about the type 2 market and other features important to people with type 1. Our last epoisde is all about Kickass Healthy LADA
That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.