Stable Glucagon – the future
The diabetes product I am most excited about is a stable glucagon. As of now, glucagon is used as an emergency relief injection. It comes as a two part solution. Liquid is mixed with powder, then drawn into a syringe before being injected. As an emergency medicine, it is complicated to use and for most, 911 is an easier option.
With all the attention put lately on artificial pancreases (See Glu Bill’s experience here) the key component to making it work (aside from all the advanced algorithms) is glucagon that is stable for more than a day. Today, glucagon breaks down and is much less useful after 24 hours.
A stable version is expected “soon.” In the diabetes world soon could mean tomorrow or 5 years from now. I think it will be somewhere in between. Xeris Pharmaceuticals is one company working on a stable fluid. They are working toward human trials 3rd quarter 2013 and plan on distribution in 2015-2016.
By the time stable glucagon is ready for market, we will also have more advanced algorithms to run an artificial pancreas, better CGM’s, more accurate glucose testing and dual chamber pumps to hold both insulin and glucagon. Closed loop system here we come.