Testing may lead to FDA certification.
A new treatment for type 2 diabetes that would eliminate the need for needles is being tested at Progressive Medical Research, a clinical pharmacology research center in Port Orange.
Anticipation for oral insulin is high among the country’s millions of diabetics, according to a spokeswoman for Oramed Pharmaceuticals, a New York company that has introduced an oral capsule for testing. Fear of needles causes many people to skip their injections, said Nadav Kidron, CEO.
“Non-compliance to diabetes medications is a major cause of hospitalizations in America and can lead to serious health complications,” Kidron said. Trials are taking place under the FDA in centers across the U.S. including Palm Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange and Oviedo.
Dr. Alexander White, owner and principal investigator at Progressive Medical Research, said people with type 2 diabetes may be required to take six injections a day, including when they are away from home. Taking capsules instead of injections will likely improve compliance. Also, new technology allows the patients to test their glucose with an app on their phone that works with a device.
“They may leave home without their test kit but not without their phone,” White said.
A recent patient in the study at PMR, Dave, who did not want his last name used, said his sugar levels went down.
“If it came on the market, I would buy it,” he said. “I don’t like the idea of sticking needles in me.”
He said the testing at the clinic was a good experience. He never had to wait, and the staff explained everything that was happening.
White said there’s also an environmental advantage: Oral medication could greatly reduce the number of syringes and needles that are tossed away and sometimes wash up at the beach.
White worked at Halifax Health for seven years and now is full time in clinical research.
NEW PRODUCTS FOR HEALTH
In addition to testing for diabetes medication, Progressive Medical Research also test products for other ailments, including Alzheimer’s and COPD. White believes the work is making a contribution.
“We look at it as community outreach,” he said.
One of the advantages for patients, he said, is that they can get treatment or products not otherwise covered by their insurance, such as inhalers for COPD patients.
“What I like about medical research is that people can get care for their condition at no cost,” he said “They may have an insurance issue.”