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Insulin Mist is a Hit 2006-10-26

Posted by clype in Gizmo, Health, Science.

A Scottish scientist has won a major award for a treatment which could allow diabetics to inhale insulin.

Currently, Scotland’s 200 000 diabetes patients need daily injections to regulate their blood sugar levels.

Chief Executive of Glasgow-based company ‘XstalBio‘ Ms.Marie-Claire Parker MD
has developed tiny particles containing insulin which can be inhaled.

She is due to pick up ‘The Royal Society of Edinburgh’s top award for science innovation on 2006-10-27 Friday.

The society said her work could transform the treatment of many diseases and save countless lives.

Diabetes is not fatal if the condition is managed properly, but if left untreated it can cause nerve damage or blindness.

Sufferers need to have injections of insulin up to four times a day.

Ms.Parker has developed a micro-crystal which can be coated with tiny particles of insulin. She said:

‘What we do is make particles which are not unlike Lego bricks, but obviously reduced down to a very small size — about 1 000th the width of a human hair.’

She said they were ‘very stable’ and very resistant to conditions like high temperature and humidity, which made them easy to store.
‘The Royal Society of Edinburgh’s’ ‘Gannochy Trust Innovation Award’ is described as Scotland’s highest accolade for individual achievement in innovation.

Professor Mr.Andrew Walker said Ms.Parker had come up with a simple idea which was also ‘intellectually a very satisfactory concept’.

‘Given its simplicity, it should work,’ he said.

However, one diabetes charity warned that there was still work to be done.

  • Earlier this year the body which gives guidance on the use of treatments by ‘The NHS’ in England & Wales rejected a diabetes inhaler on cost grounds.


The drug ‘Exubera‘, manufactured by ‘Pfizer‘, would cost more than 1 000 GBP/year/patient.

Campaigners were disappointed by the draft guidance issued by ‘The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence‘ (NICE) for England & Wales.

The Director of Diabetes UK Scotland Ms.Audrey Birt, said the challenges for Ms.Parker were to make the treatment cost-effective, portable, accessible and discreet to use.

There was also a need to ensure that users received a consistent and accurate dosage which was not affected by factors such as the user contracting a virus.


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