GLUCOSE-RESPONSIVE insulin (GRI) has the potential to change the lives of many Type 1 diabetes mellitus patients by reducing the number of insulin injections they require to just one per day; however, its effects are currently hard to predict. Now, a computer model created by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, has successfully predicted how GRI will perform over a 24-hour period.
Type 1 diabetics typically require multiple injections of insulin per day to control their glucose levels, but GRI offers the potential for just one daily dose. “The concept of GRI has been a longstanding goal of the diabetes field. If done correctly, you could make it so that diabetics could take an occasional dose and never have to worry about their blood sugar,” explained Prof Michael Stano, Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT.
The predictive computer model was developed based on specific equations relating to glucose models and aimed to ensure that the GRI maintained blood sugar levels within the parameters stipulated as healthy by the American Diabetes Association (ADA); this includes predicting the effect that meals will have on blood sugar.
In order to progress, the next step requires investigating this computer model in murine trials. If successful, the researchers suggest that this type of model could be applied for other sorts of drugs. “We could envision a future where that is the norm for all therapeutics: we could ask our drugs to modulate their potency based on our immediate, instantaneous needs in real time. That’s pie-in-the-sky at this point, but the starting point of this concept is a model for their design,” said Prof Stano.