For 100 years, scientists searched for a way to deliver insulin orally instead of by injection. Now an Israeli team claims it’s found the solution. Phase 2 clinical trials are coming.
Groundbreaking insulin pill nearing market
Jerusalem’s Oramed Pharmaceuticals is one step closer to putting a groundbreaking oral insulin capsule on the market for people with Type 2 diabetes. The company is about to begin Phase 2 clinical trials on 147 people at about a dozen medical centers in the United States.
CEO Nadav Kidron tells ISRAEL21c that the company’s flagship product could revolutionize the treatment of diabetes, which now affects more than 371 million people worldwide and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Most cases are Type 2, where the body does not use the hormone insulin effectively to metabolize sugars.
The current method of self-injecting insulin is unpleasant and also carries the constant risk of infection. A capsule taken by mouth would be more convenient and also more natural, as it would mimic insulin’s normal route in the body. But until now nobody had found a way to orally deliver large-molecule polypeptides such as insulin and vaccines.
Israel is a major center for diabetes research, and in fact the technology underlying Oramed is based on 25 years of research at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem by scientists including Kidron’s mother, Dr. Miriam Kidron.