WASHINGTON -- Novo Nordisk has developed an insulinformulation that may be effectively administered as a nasalspray, the company announced Wednesday at the 14thInternational Diabetes Federation Congress here.

Findings from a preliminary study of 10 Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetics indicate that Novo Nordisk's Novolin NasalU200 provides greater insulin bioavailability than previousnasal products and avoids clinically significant nasalirritation, according to Dr. Rury R. Holman. Holman conductedthe trials at Oxford University.

Nasal irritation has been a major stumbling block to thedevelopment of nasal delivery of insulin. The use of lecithin asan absorption enhancer is the key to Novolin's effectiveness.

The nasal spray produces peak plasma insulin levels 58minutes earlier and for a shorter period (1.5 hours vs. sixhours) than insulin administered subcutaneously, according toHolman. He said the pattern more closely mimics the body'snormal response to a meal. Patients taking intranasal insulinmay be able to sustain more normal eating patterns and haveless risk of hypoglycemic episodes than those using dailyinjection regimens.

Novo, headquartered in Denmark, said it expects to start PhaseII clinical trials in 1992 or 1993. While the trials will includeboth Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients, "it is unlikely thatNovolin will provide enough insulin for Type 2," said companyscientist Kirsten Drejer.

-- Steve Usdin BioWorld Washington Bureau

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