Biosimilar insulin: Startup takes new approach to make insulin affordable

A biotech startup has uncovered a cost-effective method for producing insulin through the development of biosimilar drugs. 

Biosimilars are intended to closely match and replicate the properties of a previously authorized biological medicine, known as the "reference medicine."  These biological medicines often contain active ingredients obtained from living cells or microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast.

To combat the exorbitant expenses associated with insulin, the biotech startup rBIO is making waves with its biosimilar production method.

Insulin at a lower cost

The company's flagship biologic drug, R-biolin, aims to transform the insulin industry by enabling the scale-up of insulin-based treatments.

The startup recently announced that it has completed "all required analytical characterizations of its insulin biosimilar" medication. 

According to Wired, the company has developed novel bacterial strains capable of producing insulin at a yield double the existing rate.

"There has been a lot of talk in the media about reducing the cost of insulin for diabetic patients, but what is often overlooked is that the domestic demand for insulin will soon outpace the supply, leading to a new host of issues," said Cameron Owen, rBIO CEO and co-founder, in a press release

"We're dedicated to addressing the growing demand for accessible insulin therapies, and today we're thrilled to announce the viability of our highly scalable manufacturing process," added Owen. 

The startup is now gearing up for clinical trials, which will allow experts to assess the drug's effectiveness in comparison to other products in the market, slated to begin later this year.

The rising demand for insulin

Insulin, a hormone generated by the pancreas, is essential for maintaining blood sugar levels. Its vital function is especially important for those with diabetes, who do not produce enough insulin naturally. 

Insulin therapy helps manage blood sugar levels, preventing complications such as cardiovascular problems, kidney damage, nerve damage, and vision impairment associated with uncontrolled diabetes. For many individuals with diabetes, insulin is a life-saving medication that enables them to lead healthier and more active lives.

To address this shortfall, firms manufacture synthetic versions of insulin to give a treatment for diabetics whose bodies can not generate enough of this crucial hormone.

According to the statement, diabetes affects up to 40 million individuals, or around 12% of the United States' population. This means that the demand for insulin will increase in the coming years. 

rBIO attempts to address this issue by reducing insulin prices by an aggressive 30%.

Moreover, this company aims to disrupt the $90 billion insulin market by dramatically lowering production costs via this innovative biosimilar production approach.

The statement highlights that R-biolin is the culmination of four years of extensive research and development. 

Reportedly, the start-up, which owns technology licensed from Washington University, intends to form strategic alliances with other pharma companies to further R-biolin's development and make this insulin therapy available to diabetes patients across the globe.

Originally published on Interesting Engineering : Original article

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