Researchers seek to determine if combination of two type 1 diabetes medications will work

A new study on the possibility of combining injections of insulin and the blood sugar-mediating drug pramlintide could help individuals with type 1 diabetes limit the number of injections they need to take each day.

Currently, pramlintide is not approved for use in combination with insulin. However, some individuals with type 1 diabetes need to take the medications before meals in order to maintain control over their blood sugar levels. Insulin helps increase production of glucose, while pramlintide plays a crucial role in regulating the amount of glucose that enters the blood. This means multiple injections of different medications throughout the day.

However, scientists from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Amylin Pharmaceuticals believe that the medications can be combined into a single injection. They are planning to distribute funding to various researchers throughout the country to analyze the feasibility of this treatment approach.

Much of the investigation process will focus on finding the optimal ratio of pramlintide to insulin. If the two medications are to be combined into a single dose, the ratio will have to be fixed. Therefore, finding the correct proportion of insulin to pramlintide that provides a person with type 1 diabetes insulin throughout the day while controlling blood sugar levels is crucial.

Up to three clinical trials are planned to prove the concept. If the combination is found to be feasible, officials say it could significantly simplify the treatment process.

"The study of this combination therapy is exciting because, if successful, it could potentially help patients achieve tighter glucose control without increasing treatment complexity," said Aaron Kowalski, assistant vice president of treatment therapies for JDRF. "Successfully co-formulating pramlintide and insulin could potentially help people living with type 1 diabetes to better, and more conveniently, control their disease."