An Israeli trial-stage pharmaceutical company has already succeeded in the first and second phase trial process of its oral insulin (in capsule form) – which will be an alternative to diabetic injection insulins, and this company’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Nadav Kidron is confident that the cost of the diabetic insulin pill will be significantly lower (by tens of percent) than the cost of insulin injections.
According to medical experts, this new development, which signals the first commercial oral insulin capsule for the treatment of type 2 and type 1 diabetes, might be the game-changer that revolutionizes the treatment of diabetes.
Established in 2006, with offices in the US and Israel, Oramed has developed a Protein Oral Delivery technology that is based on more than 30 years of research by scientists at Jerusalem’s world-famous Hadassah Medical Center.
Since insulin was first discovered, it has been impossible to deliver it orally, because of degradation and factors affecting absorbance; since insulin is a protein, the body breaks it down when ingested. The company uses enteric coating and special protection which allows the insulin to stay intact through the GI tract and reach the intestinal wall. Via special absorption enhancers, the insulin can pass through this wall and into the liver, where it starts working. Importantly, it mimics the natural path of insulin in the body, by heading to the liver first.
Although diabetes has spread rapidly, the average person knows very little about living with this chronic condition. In addition to pain, inconvenience, visible scars and dependence, many patients living with diabetes simply cannot afford to keep up with the rising costs of insulin. According to one Washington Post report, because of the skyrocketing prices of insulin, some desperate diabetics are rationing the drug and putting their lives at risk as a result.
Researchers also found that many diabetes patients were cutting back on insulin due to its high cost. Other studies estimate that at least 25 percent of patients with diabetes are not taking the insulin prescribed to them.
Oramed Pharmaceuticals, with Chinese partners, HTIT is expecting commercial marketing of the oral insulin by 2021.
According to Mr. Nadav Kidron, Oramed Pharmaceuticals is already discussing with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for its planned Phase-3 trial while they additionally are very pleased with the progress of Oramed’s Chinese partners, HTIT, who will also be initiating Phase-3 trials for its oral insulin and “might even become the first to reach commercialization”.
Can Bangladeshi diabetic patients get oral insulin?
As Oramed Pharmaceuticals is an Israeli company, for Bangladeshi diabetic patients it may not be possible getting the oral insulin, because there is no diplomatic or trade relations between Dhaka and Jerusalem. The only alternative could be importing the oral insulin from Chinese pharmaceutical company HTIT. This Chinese company had signed a licensing deal with Oramed Pharmaceuticals and has been working with Oramed to bring oral insulin to China. More than 10 percent of the Chinese adult population suffers from diabetes, and like other countries in the world, this trend is only increasing, with some 50 percent of the adult Chinese population estimated to be prediabetic. Working with the China Food and Drug Administration to gain approval, HTIT has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars into building the infrastructure to bring Oramed’s oral insulin to China.