Indian scientists hit novel formulation for cost-effective and thermo-stable Insulin

Fibrilliation lead to loss of effective quantum of insulin

By India Science Wire
Published: Wednesday 06 October 2021
Insulin syringe and pen; photo: staff (2014) / 'Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014' / WikiJournal of Medicine

A small peptide molecule comprising four amino acids, called ‘Insulock’, prevents fibrillation (solidification) of insuling induced by heat and improper storage, a group of scientists from several prominent Indian institutions demonstrated.

Fibrilliation lead to loss of effective quantum of insulin. There have been efforts across the world to invent new formulation for thermo-stable, nontoxic and bioactive insulin.  

Insulock is non-toxic, non-immunogenic and heat-stable. It can maintain insulin in active form at room temperature without any loss for months, claimed the researchers from Bose Institute, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (CSIR-IICB), Kolkata in collaboration with CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad. 

Insulock has been tested in mice models. This research work has been published in iScience journal of Cell press.

The work involves two major contributions: Identification of  an appropriate small peptide to inhibit the insulin from fibrillation, which has been accomplished by Subhrangsu Chatterjee of Bose Institute and Partha Chakrabarti (principal investigators). Second, the determination of  the three-dimensional structure of the Insulock-insulin complex and its thermal stability by using high-resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. It was done by B Jagadeesh, chief scientist, and Jithender Reddy, scientist from NMR Centre of CSIR-IICT.

Insulin needs to be kept in a refrigerator, which, otherwise after some hours becomes unfit for use due to fibrillation. Prolonged storage in normal refrigerator is not good either. Therefore, its thermal instability and fibrillation at non-refrigerated temperatures demands storage and maintenance of cold chain, making it expensive.

For diabetes patients who are staying at remote locations with no refrigerator facility or those who are travelling for long hours, the problem is more acute.




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