September 29, 2011

A glucose-sensitive insulin contest


The JDRF is offering a cash reward for the development of glucose-sensing insulin. It’s not just any cash reward. It’s $100,000!

When I first learned of this contest I was curiously confused. After all, SmartCells has been working on developing a glucose-sensitive insulin for many years. I first learned of the sheer brillance in 2008 and contacted the company. JDRF has been promoting it all the way home. In December 2010,  Merck & Co. acquired the baby Einstein. Last I heard – Merck is moving full speed ahead with the revolutionary idea. Actually it’s a lot further along than just an idea.

It’s revolutionary to those of us who have to inject insulin. However people that have healthy beta cells produce insulin constantly. The good thing about the miracle of the human body is that the insulin is not released into the blood until insulin is needed. That is where “SmartInsulin” changed the game. Imagine the day when you never have to fear a low from too much insulin?

A glucose-sensitive insulin would react similar to the beta cells in a non-diabetic person. Although the insulin would be hanging-out in the blood stream until it is called upon to normalize blood glucose -it is able to stop lowering blood glucose when the sugar level reaches ‘normal’. Whereas beta cells don’t secrete insulin when blood glucose is normal. They just store it.

As I said before – I was a little befuddled as to why JDRF was offering a substantial cash reward for something they already knew was well on its way to becoming a reality. Turns-out? JDRF is just raising awareness of this truly exciting concept. It’s more than a concept. It’s literally an imminent reality. If it takes  a $100,000 cash reward to raise awareness so be it. Whatever it takes to get this party started.