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[IP] MIT Sloan students win MIT $50K Entrepreneurial Competition



Did anyone else happen to catch this this?  Although it is still far from
making it to market, I found it was one of the interesting pharmaceutical
developments since the first insulin analog was approved in 1996.  Most
pharmaceutical research dollars are spent on drugs to treat Type 2, which have
little or no relevance to people with Type 1 ...

Regards,
Scott


See also
http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/newproduct/i156.shtml

SmartInsulin

It automatically regulates the blood-glucose levels in diabetic patients.
Once-a-day, self-regulating insulin delivery for diabetics. Technology uses
new a kind of biodegradable polymer to produce stimuli-responsive
nanoparticles for controlled drug delivery.

SmartInsulin contains nanoparticles that release insulin in proportion to
blood-glucose levels. These particles will start to slowly break down and
release insulin into the bloodstream, regulating (the) blood-sugar level. Once
the blood sugar is at normal levels, the particles close back up, resolidify
and then stop releasing insulin. A team of 5 students, called SmartCells, won
the $30,000 grand prize earlier this week in the annual MIT $50K
Entrepreneurship Competition for its work on a new monitoring device.
SmartCells uses a ground-breaking technology that combines nanostructured
processing and intelligent biomaterials to produce stimuli-responsive
nanoparticles for controlled drug delivery. SmartInsulin, addresses the $98
billion diabetes market by providing insulin release in proportion to blood
sugar levels thereby achieving auto-regulation of blood glucose. Insulin
dependent Diabetics and those that should be on Insulin will want the
revolutionary product because SmartInsulin will minimizes insulin dosages,
decrease pain due to blood sugar monitoring, dramatically improves diabetic
blood sugar control, and should drastically reduces diabetic complications.
The team, made up of students from MIT and Harvard Business School, beat out a
field of 118 teams. SmartCells team member Todd Zion invented the technology
as part of his Ph.D. research in chemical engineering at MIT. He's been
working on the project for about four years.

The product is a once-a-day injection. Currently, monitoring glucose levels
can be cumbersome and painful for diabetics who prick their fingers multiple
times daily to test blood-glucose levels. Those who depend on insulin -- Type
1 diabetics and a small percentage of Type 2 diabetics -- must give themselves
shots several times a day.

"It's well known that you can measure your blood sugar and then monitor your
diet to control your blood sugar, but that whole process is not nearly as good
as (how) a nondiabetic controls their blood sugar," Zion said. "You really
need that real-time response to fluctuations and changes in blood sugar.
That's essentially what web ve built into SmartInsulin."

SmartInsulin contains nanoparticles that release insulin in proportion to
blood-glucose levels, according to team member John Hebert, a second-year
student at MIT Sloan School of Management.

"These particles will start to slowly break down and release insulin into the
bloodstream, regulating (the) blood-sugar level," Hebert said. "Once the blood
sugar is at normal levels, the particles close back up, resolidify and then
stop releasing insulin."

Zion had an additional incentive for researching this disease. "Type 1 runs in
my family. There's a genetic predisposition for it," Zion said. "I also have
family members who have Type 2 diabetes. It hits home a little bit closer when
someone you know has the disease."

The SmartCells team members will use their winnings to help launch the
company. They have filed a preliminary application for a patent. Hadzima said
the strong lab research seems to indicate the product could make it to market
within a few years. Of course, there's no guarantee, he added.
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