For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Capezzuto
At UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
UMDNJ Researchers Are Testing "Inhaled Insulin" in Type 2 Diabetics
'Exubera' May Eliminate or Reduce Need For Insulin Injections
Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey (UMDNJ) are testing a new form of insulin that is administered
through an inhaler and absorbed through the lungs.
This is a nationwide clinical trial to test inhaled insulin
as a replacement for standard insulin injections in people with
Type 2 diabetes. Dr. Stephen H. Schneider, a professor of medicine
at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is heading the study.
The drug being tested is called Exubera.
"Exubera is a formulation of insulin that is administered by
an inhaler device similar to ones used by asthmatic patients,"
said Dr. Schneider, an endocrinologist. "The inhaler is loaded
with medicated pellets that then are converted by the inhaler
into a mist spray for application.
"Initially, many patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus can
be controlled by one or more oral medications, such as Metformin,"
Dr. Schneider said. "But with continued progression of the disease,
patients eventually require either a third medication or insulin
injections because beta cells in the pancreas die. We're hopeful
that this new form of insulin will be effective and enhance the
quality of life for those with Type 2 diabetes."
Exubera was developed as a joint venture by researchers at Pfizer
Pharmaceuticals and Aventis. The medical school is one of 60 sites
nationwide participating in the 52-week study.
To be eligible for the study, potential volunteers with Type
2 diabetes must be between 18 to 80 years of age. Study participants
must also be non-smokers and not currently taking insulin injections.
In addition, the diabetes must be inadequately controlled by two
oral medications. Individuals in the study will be required to
inhale one mist prior to each meal.
As well as undergoing routine laboratory evaluations and physical
examinations, those accepted into the study also will be required
to take occasional pulmonary examinations to test their breathing
functions. Participants also will be asked to complete a series
of questionnaires on satisfaction and quality of life and will
monitor their own blood sugar levels at home.
Those interested in volunteering for the study should call Shelley
Greenhaus, research coordinator, at (732) 235-7751.
Some 16 million Americans have diabetes and about 60 percent
of the United States population has the genetic background to
develop Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetics produce varying levels
of insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels, and
often do not requiredaily insulin. Type 1 diabetics require daily
insulin injections because no insulin is produced by the body.
The UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is one of three
medical schools of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of
New Jersey. UMDNJ comprises New Jersey's only medical schools,
the state's only dental school, a nursing school, a graduate school
of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions
and a school of public health on campuses in Newark, Piscataway/New
Brunswick, Camden, Stratford and Scotch Plains. UMDNJ also operates
University Hospital, Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare.
It is affiliated with more than 200 health care institutions throughout