Surgery in a pill

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the most common form of diabetes and represents approximately 80% of all diabetes patients. If you have T2D your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels. But, over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.

The gastrointestinal (GI) track is significantly important for the pathogenesis of disease such as diabetes and has been widely target for treatment.

Medical management of T2D remains suboptimal and although bariatric surgeries have been shown to be effective in achieving significant rates of diabetes remission, they are not suitable for many T2D patients. While T2D is often associated with obesity, in many instances, especially in the Asian population, T2D patients are not obese. Even in the US, the mean Body Mass Index (BMI) of diabetes patients is 29. Acknowledging the isolation of proximal bowel from nutrient exposure is a critical part of surgical success. There is significant interest in developing less invasive alternatives that can replicate the metabolic success of gastric bypass surgeries. Our approach for an orally administered transient pill that adheres to the gut is an innovative solution that seeks to reproduce the effect of surgery (isolation of proximal bowel from nutrient exposure) without the need for an invasive procedure and its associated risks.

The drug we have repurposed, LuCI™, is based on an FDA-approved drug, which has been in clinical practice for several decades and has an excellent safety profile. Our multi-disciplinary team studied the impact of acute and chronic administration of LuCI™ in animal models to develop a better understanding of the mechanisms of action and enhance the efficacy to prepare us for first-in man studies. Following oral administration, LuCI will transiently adhere on the normal mucosa of the proximal gut or bowel that modulates the uptake of nutrients (e.g. glucose) for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. It is unique not only because it is an orally administered solution to reducing blood glucose levels, but also because it is resistant to agents that would normally be harmful to a pill in the GI tract, such as gastric acid.


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