A small pharmaceutical company based in Israel called Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced that their oral insulin has shown significant success in lowering night-time blood glucose in type 2 diabetes patients.
The pill is still in its experimental stage, with current data based on a mid-stage trial, but its success is causing experts to reconsider the efficacy of insulin delivered orally. It is widely doubted that insulin will survive as it passes through digestive juices to deliver its intended effect. However, Oramed makes use of a protective coating and a high dose of insulin so that, while it has to go through the digestive tract, it will still deliver a clinically beneficial dose of the hormone.
While the results from the trial are successful, these must be replicated in a larger scale before it can be submitted for approval. This will be the third phase of the study.
Should it pass all stages of the trial, the arrival of a safe and effective oral insulin would likely be a multibillion-dollar product. This would mean that people who suffer from diabetes no longer have to administer insulin via injections.