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Halozyme Therapeutics’ New Insulin Enhancer

Halozyme Therapeutics wants injected insulin to work faster and more efficiently, and, toward that end, it’s combining insulin with an enzyme called recombinant human hyaluronidase, or rHuPH20. This enzyme is known to break down obstructions beneath the skin that slow down absorption and dispersion of insulin after it’s been injected into the body. The value of breaking down these obstructions (called the extracellular matrix of the skin) is that the insulin gets into the blood much faster and consequently is able to start reducing blood sugar faster as well.

In a study presented at the ADA meeting in June 2008, Halozyme presented data comparing Humalog combined with the rHuPH20 enzyme to Humalog injected without the enzyme. The company found that 15 minutes after injection, three times as much Humalog was in the blood stream of those patients injected with the combination than those injected with Humalog alone, and with Humulin R, there was 24 times as much Humulin R present when it was injected along with the enhancer. This product is still in its early stages of clinical trials – Halozyme just recently started phase 2 testing in 28 patients with type 1 diabetes, and hopes to have results in June 2009. We understand that Halozyme also plans to test this insulin in pumps, and we look forward to reporting more data when it becomes available.