In the News... Smart Insulin, Pixar Features Diabetes, T1D up K2 and more!

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It's In the News - the only weekly diabetes newscast! This week's headlines include:

Lawsuit against insulin makers moves ahead Mixed news for Teplizumab Peep the pump at Pixar Antacids to help type 2? #T1D up K2

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Episode Transcript Below:

Hello and welcome to Diabetes Connections In the News! I’m Stacey Simms and these are the top diabetes stories and headlines of the past seven days. As always, I’m going to link up my sources in the Facebook comments – where we are live – and in the show notes at d-c dot com when this airs as a podcast.. so you can read more when you have the time.

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In the News is brought to you by Inside the Breakthrough. A new history of science podcast full of “Did You Know… Stuff”

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The top story this week.. one step forward, one step back on a lawsuit involving all three insulin makers. A federal judge dropped anti-trust claims – but the case will move forward under federal racketeering laws. That means Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi face organized crime charges. The Judge says the plaintiffs plausibly alleged schemes of unlawful bribery and mail and wire fraud. The other defendants in this case are pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts, CVS Health, and UnitedHealth.

Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi are accused in the lawsuit of inflating the official list price of insulin while the actual prices negotiated by pharmacy benefit managers remained flat due to massive rebates from drug companies.

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/pharma-and-life-sciences/sanofi-novo-insulin-price-suit-advances-with-trimmed-claims

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In a separate development, Lilly announced they have spent one billion dollars on Protomer Technologies – a company who’s been working on what they call smart insulin.

These proteins that can sense concentrations of specific molecules and adjust to create variable doses. This pipeline includes an insulin product that adjusts to different glucose levels in diabetic patients. In 2020 Lilly led an investment round that gave them 14% of the company. This deal gives them the rest.

We’ve heard about glucose-responsive insulin for a while now, JDRF has funded a lot of the research. A spokesperson says this significant milestone brings the promise of the game changing technology one step closer to the clinic.

https://www.biospace.com/article/lilly-buys-protomer-for-1-billion-plus-for-next-generation-insulin-products/

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Mixed news for Provention, the makers of teplizumab. The US FDA says no to the drug shown to delay type 1 diabetes in those most at risk. It made it through an FDA advisory panel earlier this year, but the full FDA issued what’s called a Complete Response Letter or CRL which means they’ve completed the review and won’t approve in its current form.

However, earlier this week, the company got good news from the UK. Teplizumab was awarded an Innovation Passport – a new designation that is meant to fast track investigational medicines through the regulatory process there.

https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/provention-bio-slapped-fda-rejection-for-diabetes-hopeful-teplizumab

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/teplizumab-awarded-innovation-passport-united-110000773.html

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An Australian study shows good outcomes with closed loop therapy for older adults with long time type 1. This study looked at 30 healthy adults aged 60 and older who’d previously used an insulin pump. They used the Medtronic 670G either in manual or auto mode for four months at a time then switched to the other mode for another 4 months.

They all spent more time in range when in the closed loop stage.. and biggest benefit was seen overnight. Less hypoglycemia was a big benefit for this group. These researchers say they want people to know that older age is not a barrier to closed-loop therapy and closed-loop has important clinical benefits

Bit of an editorial here: I would not call the 670G or really any current commercial pump offering a closed loop. To me, if you’re still bolusing for meals, that’s a hybrid closed loop or partial loop, but potato potahto perhaps.

https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20210706/closedloop-system-improves-cgm-metrics-for-older-adults-with-type-1-diabetes

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Pixar released the teaser for it’s next movie.. Turning Red and eagle eyed members of the DOC spotted what looks like a CGM and a purple insulin pump – maybe an older model Medtronic?

I heard from a source at Pixar with type 1 who says this was absolutely on purpose

It is definitely intentional to include better representation of the real world, whether it is wheelchair users, crutches, pumps/cgms, hearing aids, and more… This initiative is largely credited to our characters art and crowds departments.

I’m working with the Pixar PR folks and hope to have more info and an interview as the movie is closer to release.

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A class of drugs widely used to treat heartburn and stomach ulcers, improve blood sugar in patients with diabetes when added to their usual treatment.

These drugs are known as proton pump inhibitors – they include Prilosec and omeprazole. They suppress acid and affect certain hormones that are important in glucose regulation.

They did not prevent diabetes.. but these researchers say if somebody is already on a PPI and they are doing well, it might also be helpful for their diabetes. Those with higher A1Cs benefited the most.

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20210702/antacids-aid-blood-sugar-control-in-people-with-diabetes

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More to come, but first, I want to tell you about one of our great sponsors who helps make Diabetes Connections possible.

  • Inside the Breakthrough is a podcast that mixes historical wisdom with modern insight – it’s a science show that’s also entertaining. I love it. They cover everything from accidental discoveries to famous names in science to old myths hand washing to and even a horse poop crisis in New York City – luckily averted. And this all actually relates to diabetes! Listen to Inside the Breakthrough wherever you listen to podcasts..

Back to the news…

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A new attempt to climb K2 – the second highest mountain on earth - something accomplished by only one person with type 1 diabetes before. Right now, Jerry Gore – diagnosed as an adult - is acclimating at base camp. Gore is 60 years old and has been climbing for 40 years. He hopes to raise money for his charity, Action4Diabetes, which provides healthcare and support to disadvantaged young people with Type 1 diabetes in South East Asia.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jerry-gorek2?experiments=b2c_059_donate_to_yourself_v3&successType=StaticDonateButtonClick?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socpledgemobile&utm_content=jerry-gorek2?experiments=b2c_059_donate_to_yourself_v3&successType=StaticDonateButtonClick&utm_campaign=post-pledge-mobile&utm_term=MdnpGx3vR

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Congrats to Sebastien Sasseville who just biked across Canada in 15 days. We told you about this trip when he kicked off two weeks ago.. I don’t think anyone expected the weather to do what it did – Canada broke several heat records – and there were storms and wind. Sasseville lives with type 1, he did this to raise awareness for access to technology. He’s climbed Everest and has completed several grueling extreme races & posted on his Instagram:

“This was the hardest thing I have ever done, and could not have done it without the crew. They kept me safe and alive, I will be forever grateful. We did it boys!!! Chase life experiences and create memories with people you love. That is my best advice for a fulfilled life.”

Congratulations to Sebastien and crew!

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That’s Diabetes Connections – In the News. If you like it, share it. And feel free to send me your news tips. Stacey @ diabetes dash connections dot com.

Please join me wherever you get podcasts for our next episode -Tuesday – a conversation with just a great guy.. he’s 81 and he’s lived with type 1 for more than 62 years.

Thanks and I’ll see you soon

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