TechnoSphere Gets an A: Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

Breaking news today: MannKind Corp. has announced results from a Phase 2 clinical study of its new, powder-form inhaled insulin in people with Type 1 diabetes. Patients showed improved A1c levels, lower postprandial BGs (less blood sugar spikes after meals), and weight loss, too. In other words, patients using the TechnoSphere inhaler fared at least as well as those using rapid-acting insuling to cover meals. MannKind gets an A for effort!

But what about lung damage?

“After 12 weeks of treatment, pulmonary function did not differ between the two patient groups as measured by FEV1, the volume of air that can be forced out in one second after taking a deep breath, and DLCO, a measure of gas exchange capacity of the lung…”

Nice, but we all know that 12 weeks is not nearly long enough to evaluate the damage that might accompany long-term use of inhaled insulin.

Nevertheless, I felt a pang of remorse. As you may know, I was invited to join this study, but turned it down on the basis of practical concerns. It was the right thing to do, for me. And yet…

Technosphere_inhaler It’s great to see MannKind Corp. making progress with a product that looks like a very appealing alternative to Exubera, with its large and bulky inhaler device. MannKind’s little purple dealy definitely has much more of a “cool factor.” Which is important, when you live on the stuff.

Meanwhile, Exubera got a thumbs-down from authorities in Europe this week based on its exuberant (er, exorbitant) price tag. See my “Weekly Nuggets” section for more links.

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One Response

  1. Scott K. Johnson
    Scott K. Johnson April 20, 2006 at 7:52 am | | Reply

    Don’t fret Amy – I feel that it was a particularly scary study to consider and I believe I would have made the same choice that you did.

    I’m a big participant in studies, but I would have turned this one down.

    Your lungs health was just a bit too much to put on the line. How would you deal with it if the news was just the opposite, and you had participated?

    I guess what I’m saying is it’s always going to be 20/20 hindsight. It’s my opinion that you made the right choice on this one.

    There is a lot of things happening in the diabetes management world (although it always feels as if it’s not enough nor fast enough). So I believe you’ll be presented with other opportunities that will be much more rewarding and much less risky.

    Take care!

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