Health Headlines: “Game-changing” once-a-week insulin treatment

Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 8:27 AM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It’s been called the largest epidemic in human history. And no, we’re not talking about COVID. More than 37 million Americans are living with diabetes right now and more than 90% of them have type two diabetes. But now, there’s been a breakthrough that might just simplify the future of diabetes treatment.

It all has to do with insulin.

48-year-old Chris Sheridan says, “If you went somewhere, you had to take your glucose monitoring kit with you.”

Sheridan was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes almost 20 years ago and has been checking his glucose levels every day for years now.

“I had to give myself a shot every day.”

Chris had to remember to take his insulin while working on his jeep, and then make sure he has it when he was in the middle of nowhere. But then, he was offered the chance to be part of a clinical trial that would allow him to take only one insulin shot a week.

“It is taking the same, a molecule of insulin, a human insulin, a synthetic human insulin, but it’s been altered a little bit and allows it to last longer in the body and get taken up a little bit slower.”

Scripps endocrinologist Athena Philis-Tsimikas is part of the team leading an international study comparing the new once-weekly shot to the daily insulin shots.

She says, “There was not only equal lowering of the blood sugar to an equivalent amount between the two groups, but there was actually greater lowering, better blood glucose control.”

This one-shot may give millions of people hope in the new year.

“When you think about a once-weekly injection for people with diabetes, they’re going from having to take 365 injections a year to only 52 times a year. And although this might not seem like a lot to you and me, to the person having to do the injection, it can be incredibly significant.”

The company that created the once-weekly insulin shot plans to file for market approval in the U.S., Europe, and China early next year. That means it could hit doctor’s offices by mid-2023.