Skip to main content
Home » Diabetes » Harnessing innovation with life changing potential

Sarah Howell

Chief Executive Officer, Arecor

One hundred years on from the first patient receiving insulin injections, scientists’ continued research is helping people with diabetes better manage their condition, reducing the burden of existing treatments and improving quality of life.

Diabetes has reached pandemic levels, with 537 million people living with diabetes worldwide. In the UK, 4.9 million people have diabetes, predicted to reach 5.5 million by 2030.

The daily challenge for anyone with diabetes is to maintain their blood glucose within a healthy target range. Even with gold standard insulins available today, there remains a need for faster acting insulins to counteract the swift rise in blood sugar that happens at mealtimes. This is important as time outside of the healthy target range leads to the serious disease complications associated with diabetes that bring long-term morbidity and healthcare costs.

Diabetes around the world

The NHS spends at least £10 billion a year – about 10% of its entire budget – on diabetes, with almost 80% of it treating serious complications.

Driven by the obesity epidemic, a growing number of people with diabetes are becoming insulin resistant and to manage their blood glucose will often need multiple types of insulin and to inject large volumes more often, which is a heavy daily burden.

Once considered science fiction, technology now plays an increasing part in healthcare.

New treatment options

At Arecor Therapeutics, our scientists are developing faster acting and concentrated insulins to enable a new frontier in diabetes management. These offer the potential to better control blood glucose and can be used in ultra-concentrated formulations, enabling reduced injection volumes, fewer injections per day and the next generation of miniaturised insulin pumps.

Our faster acting insulins may also facilitate a fully closed loop artificial pancreas, a potentially life changing approach to living with diabetes. The NHS is conducting a 900-patient trial of this technology using a sensor to continually monitor blood sugar, and a pump to automatically adjust and deliver the insulin required. Ultra-rapid acting insulins will be a critical enabler to their success.

Once considered science fiction, technology now plays an increasing part in healthcare. Perhaps, 100 years on from that first insulin injection, artificial pancreas systems are no longer the unattainable Holy Grail of diabetes management.

Next article