An end to diabetes: biotechnology invented in Israel to replace insulin shots
An Israeli invention could permanently save diabetics from insulin injections. Betalin Therapeutics has created a microscopic artificial biotechnological pancreas.
The firm intends to apply for permission to test the device on humans in August 2020 in the UK. This was reported on Thursday, July 23, by the Israeli newspaper Kalkalist, citing The Guardian newspaper.
According to the report, the company believes that the new technology will save millions of patients from the need for insulin injections and constant blood sugar checks. It is intended for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients requiring insulin injections. The technology developer is Professor Eduardo Mitrani from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The developers told The Guardian newspaper that they intend to submit a clinical trial plan to British regulators in order to begin them from the beginning of 2021 and begin selling their products until 2024.
The center of the new development is a scaffold made of pig lung cells, into which β-cells of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans are embedded, which produce insulin in accordance with the level of glucose in human blood. The microgland is implanted under the skin of the patient’s thigh under local anesthesia.
“Our unique technology allows the body to heal itself,” says the CEO of the company, Dr. Nikolay Kunicher. «We intend to use this technology in the future to treat diseases other than diabetes.»
The choice of the UK as a test site is due to the fact that it has already licensed another method of treating diabetes — the implantation of β-cells in the liver. According to Betalin Therapeutics, their micro-iron is more stable, it can function for a longer time, and it is also cheaper. The estimated price is $ 40,000.
The tests are slated to take place at a number of hospitals affiliated with the universities of Leeds and Newcastle. The trial will be led by British transplant surgeon Dr. Omar Masoud. In his opinion, this technology can change the lives of 400 thousand patients in the UK.
Betalin Therapeutics has received a £ 4.5 million EU grant and intends to raise more than £ 6 million from Chinese, American and Israeli investors.
General Director of the company Nikolay Kunicher
(Photo: Betalin Therapeutics)