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Join us for Musings – Taking the Fear out of Hypoglycemia, Next-Generation Glucagon

By Julia Kenney

To kick-off our 6th annual diaTribe Musings series, we will be hosting a virtual panel focused on the latest innovations in glucagon therapy. Join us on May 13 to learn about how next-generation glucagon can empower people living with diabetes by preparing them for emergency situations and giving them greater peace of mind. Register here.

What is glucagon? How can it help people with diabetes?

Glucagon is a hormone (a chemical naturally made by the body) that prompts the liver to release stored sugar into your bloodstream; glucose in the bloodstream provides energy to your body’s cells. This process is critical when people are experiencing severe low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.

Severe hypoglycemia occurs when a person’s blood sugars are too low for their brain to function properly. A 2018 study found that people with diabetes (who take insulin or medications that increase insulin secretion) experience severe hypoglycemia an average of 2.5 times a year. In these emergency situations, glucagon can be used to quickly increase blood sugars to a healthy range.

What is next-generation glucagon?

Traditionally, emergency glucagon kits can be difficult to use and often require training. With older forms of emergency glucagon, care-partners or responders must mix powdered glucagon with liquid before injecting it into the person experiencing severe hypoglycemia. These steps can be stressful during an emergency.

Next-generation glucagon is pre-mixed and can be given with an auto-injector pen, a pre-filled syringe, or as a nasal spray. These new versions of glucagon are much easier to use in hypoglycemic emergencies and can be administered more quickly. The current next-generation glucagon products that are available are Baqsimi and GVOKE, and Zegalogue is expected to become available this summer.

What else is coming with glucagon?

Researchers are studying whether glucagon can be used in day-to-day diabetes management to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Dual hormone pumps and glucagon mini-dosing are examples of future innovations in diabetes care, but these won’t be available anytime soon.

All of this and more will be discussed at next week’s Musings panel – we hope to see you there!

Who will speak on the panel?

The panel will be moderated by diaTribe Founder Kelly Close and will include an incredible group of speakers:

Crystal Bowerstox

Crystal is a musician and advocate with Lilly Diabetes and has had type 1 diabetes since the age of six. As a finalist on the ninth season of American Idol, Crystal has used her platform to advocate for people with type 1 diabetes. With her Know Before the Low educational campaign, Crystal is helping people with diabetes avoid low blood sugars and alleviate feelings of hypoglycemia fear and stress.

Paul R. Edick

Paul is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xeris Pharmaceuticals. With Paul’s leadership, Xeris Pharmaceuticals created the GVOKE HypoPen – a premixed glucagon injector – in 2019, to help people with diabetes experiencing low blood sugar. Paul has extensive industry experience with leading consumer, pharmaceutical, and healthcare organizations. From his work on GVOKE, he knows the value of next-generation glucagon and how it can help people with diabetes stay safe. 

David Kendall MD

Dr. Kendall is an Endocrinologist and a Senior Global Medical Advisor at Zealand Pharmaceuticals. With over 30 years of experience in diabetes research, education, clinical care, and industry, Dr. Kendall supports Zealand in developing peptide-based therapies for people with diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Zealand’s new auto-injector glucagon pen Zegalogue was approved by the FDA in April and will become available in June. 

Steven Russell MD/PhD

Dr. Russell is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Russell was the principal clinical investigator of a project to develop a wearable bionic pancreas. Beta bionics is using Dr. Russell’s research to develop its iLet bionic pancreas that uses insulin and glucagon to automatically manage blood glucose levels. He has extensive knowledge of innovations in glucagon therapies to make glucose management easier for people with diabetes.

When is the panel? The event will be held on Thursday, May 13, from 6:30-8pm EDT. If you can, join us early at 5:30pm EDT for a community discussion hosted by diaTribe’s Community Manager Cherise Shockley. There will also be opportunities to network with panelists and attendees and to attend the Sponsor Expo Booths before and after the panel.

How do I join the event? Register for the event here. After registering, you will receive an email with more information about how to access the virtual event.