No More Daily Jabs for Diabetics

Biotech Company Fractyl Health is testing a gene therapy which won’t require daily or multiple injections for Type 2 Diabetes.

The concept behind this hoped-for breakthrough is to replicate the current treatments Ozempic and Wegovy, but as a once-off jab which will last for years. The aim is to lower blood sugar and weight like these drugs. But diabetes sufferers are often unreliable with their treatment. Simply, they stop when their weight drops. This behaviour negates the primary reason for treatment; to lower blood sugar.

This is how it works

The treatment is an artificial gene which, once in the pancreas, continuously produces a particular natural hormone. It’s called GLP-1. In a diabetes-free body, this hormone activates by ingestion, and creaties insulin. Insulin regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. Without it, the body develops diabetes with rising sugar levels damaging eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels. The artificial gene literally takes over the process of GLP-1 to prompt the pancreas to make insulin.

There are numerous problems which this treatment could solve apart from no more daily jabs for diabetics. Ozempic and Wegovy are expensive and come with unsettling side effects like nausea, diarrhea and constipation. Couple this to the treatment negating irregular dosing for one reason or the other and this treatment could represent a giant leap in diabetes treatment.

A Game Changer

I reached out to the South African chapter of the International Diabetes Federation. They were, understandably, reluctant to speak of anything in testing stage. But I did manage to speak to a G.P. who treats over 40 Type 2 Diabetics. Doctor Landsmann was familiar with the company and was very encouraged by what she knew.

She told me that the most significant factor was not the presumed lower price of the treatment. Nor was it the expected lack of side effects. It was the mental health of her patients. “The thought that people will no longer have to be reminded every day that they’re ill is significant. No more daily jabs for diabetics? That will will bring a tremendous amount of positivity back into their lives.”   

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