An ultrafast insulin formulation enabled by high-throughput screening of engineered polymeric excipients

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  • Joseph L. Mann, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Caitlin L. Maikawa, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Anton A.A. Smith, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Abigail K. Grosskopf, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Sam W. Baker, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Gillie A. Roth, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Catherine M. Meis, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Emily C. Gale, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Celine S. Liong, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Santiago Correa, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Doreen Chan, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Lyndsay M. Stapleton, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Anthony C. Yu, Stanford University
  • ,
  • Ben Muir, CSIRO
  • ,
  • Shaun Howard, CSIRO
  • ,
  • Almar Postma, CSIRO
  • ,
  • Eric A. Appel, Stanford University

Insulin has been used to treat diabetes for almost 100 years; yet, current rapid-acting insulin formulations do not have sufficiently fast pharmacokinetics to maintain tight glycemic control at mealtimes. Dissociation of the insulin hexamer, the primary association state of insulin in rapid-acting formulations, is the rate-limiting step that leads to delayed onset and extended duration of action. A formulation of insulin monomers would more closely mimic endogenous postprandial insulin secretion, but monomeric insulin is unstable in solution using present formulation strategies and rapidly aggregates into amyloid fibrils. Here, we implement high-throughput-controlled radical polymerization techniques to generate a large library of acrylamide carrier/dopant copolymer (AC/DC) excipients 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 ± 1 hours compared to 5 ± 2 hours for commercial fast-acting insulin lispro formulations (Humalog). In a porcine model of insulin-deficient diabetes, UFAL exhibited peak action at 9 ± 4 min, whereas commercial Humalog exhibited peak action at 25 ± 10 min. These ultrafast kinetics make UFAL a promising candidate for improving glucose control and reducing burden for patients with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaba6676
JournalScience Translational Medicine
Volume12
Issue550
Number of pages13
ISSN1946-6234
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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