North East Connected

Creation of an insulin spray may herald an end to insulin needles


Max Bio+, a UK-based research and development company co-founded by Professor Sunil Shah, has announced a breakthrough in the field of diabetes management.

The company has developed a novel insulin spray that has the potential to eliminate the use of needles. This is a revolutionary advancement for patients who require frequent insulin injections. This non-invasive insulin delivery system utilises buccal methods, which have several benefits over current invasive systems of insulin delivery.

With the incidence of diabetes increasing rapidly, there is a pressing need for alternative insulin delivery methods. Max Bio+ has conducted all its research and development in the UK, where it has been investigating the use of water-soluble nanoparticles to improve drug absorption. This technology has been applied to the development of an insulin spray for buccal/sublingual administration, which has shown promising results as a controllable, portable and pain-free insulin delivery system.

Over recent years, advances have been made in the way that insulin is delivered to diabetics. We now have insulin pens which combine the insulin dose and syringe in a single device. There are also smart insulin pens which can track doses and report through an app on your smartphone. This is a fantastic use of MedTech.

There are also Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) which are small coin-sized devices with a sensor that sits underneath the skin to monitor glucose levels throughout the day. Some of the more advanced CGMs can be linked with a Closed Loop Insulin Pump that, like the monitor, is attached to the patient to deliver insulin without the necessity of using additional syringes.

However, despite advancements in diabetes management, the devices on the market are still invasive, inconvenient and challenging to use, especially for children or when delivering insulin to diabetic pets.

The team at Max Bio+ has been researching and developing novel delivery systems for a variety of beneficial drugs and supplements, with diabetes a priority.

One of the innovations is a technology that can create water soluble composite nanoparticles that improve how medicines are absorbed by the body. Combining this research with the challenges in diabetes management, MaxBio+ prioritised investigating the development of an injection free insulin delivery device.

Because the MaxBio+ technique uses water as a carrier for beneficial drugs, the team looked at ways to deliver the drug without needles. Insulin taken by mouth has numerous challenges to being a useful treatment. It therefore became clear that a spray, which could be used for buccal administration, was the ideal solution.

The new delivery system has been developed and is currently being tested with very promising results.

The simplicity, portability and non-invasiveness of an insulin spray means it has less chance of creating adverse health effects. The buccal method of insulin delivery eliminate the need for needles, which can be a significant source of pain, discomfort and anxiety for patients. It also makes it easier for patients to adhere to their insulin regimen, which in turn, leads to better overall health outcomes.

In addition to being non-invasive, the insulin spray is also controllable. Patients can adjust their dosage as needed to achieve optimal blood sugar control. The spray can be used discreetly and quickly, making it a more convenient option for patients who are constantly on the go. Since the insulin spray is a discreet and pain-free option, it could reduce the stigma associated with diabetes management. This benefit is particularly important for children with diabetes, who may feel embarrassed or stigmatised when they need to administer insulin in public.

Another significant benefit of the insulin spray is its portability. The spray is small and easy to carry, which means that patients can take it with them wherever they go. This portability makes it easier for patients to maintain their insulin regimen even when they are travelling or away from home.

Max Bio+ is now seeking partnerships to bring this innovative, proven product to market.

About Max Bio+

Founded in 2020 by Professor Sunil Shah, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Professor Aston University, and philanthropist Sean Ngu, Max Bio+ has created revolutionary patent-pending technology to solve the perennial problem of how to mix oil and water and develop pain-free drug delivery.


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