Are You Ready… for faster acting insulin?

By July 10th, 2020

The outcomes of a 2018 collaboration between the RAMP Centre and researchers from the Appel Group at Stanford University were recently published in Science Translational Medicine.

Right now if you’re a Type I diabetic, you need to inject insulin at the appropriate time to process the glucose load from your food. Current products are slow to act, and have a residual release time in the body. That makes them inefficient, and inconvenient.  The technology presented in this paper suggests a path towards new insulin formulations that are 1) fast acting, 2) have less residual time in the body, and 3) have a good “shelf life”. That means you could more reasonably inject your insulin at meal time (instead of 30-45 minutes ahead) for optimal effect. The result is better control of your blood sugar, and more convenience. CSIRO’s RAMP centre is proud to have made a contribution to this fantastic work by the Appel Group, and especially enjoyed hosting Anton A.A. Smith and Joseph L. Mann here in our Melbourne labs.

See video footage from the RAMP centre at about 1:50, where you’ll see CSIRO and Stanford researchers working with the Chemspeed SwingXL platform housed in our labs.

title and authors of published paper

It’s a long way to the… end of testing 1500 AC/DC polymer candidates.


Insulin has been used to treat diabetes for almost 100 years; yet, current rapid-acting insulin formulations do not do not act quickly enough to provide good control at mealtime. In the RAMP centre, we implement high-throughput, controlled, radical polymerization techniques to generate a large library of acrylamide carrier/dopant copolymer (AC/DC) excipients (a substance formulated alongside the active ingredient of a medication, included for the purpose of long-term stabilization) designed to reduce insulin aggregation. Our top-performing AC/DC excipient candidate enabled the development of an ultrafast-absorbing insulin lispro (UFAL) formulation, which remains stable under stressed aging conditions for 25 hours, compared to 5 hours for commercial fast-acting insulin lispro formulations (Humalog). In a porcine animal model of insulin-deficient diabetes, UFAL exhibited peak action at 9 min, whereas commercial Humalog exhibited peak action at 25 min. These ultrafast kinetics make UFAL a promising candidate for improving glucose control and reducing burden for patients with diabetes.



Stanford University news article on the work.

Futurity article

Summary of all media reports on this work from Altmetric.

Highlighted in a Sep 2020 spotlight article in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences