September 20, 2011

Know a Smart Chemist?

JDRF is looking for some. They would like to get into conversations about innovative ways of making insulin respond to blood glucose levels. They have a hundred Gs for really good ideas. 
Some smart YDMV readers may ask, “Hey isn’t that what SmartCell’s SmartInsulin does?” 
Yes, yes it is.
So you may wonder why JDRF would be looking for chemist to reinvent the proverbial wheel. I know I did. Particularly in light of JDRF funding SmartCells via an IDDP
Scott Strummelo and I joined JDRF on a conference call on that very issue. JDRF’s reply, as I understood it, was that while they have confidence in SmartInsulin other means of achieving the same end would be great for a variety of reasons. Different glucose responsive insulins would provide patients options to see which works best for their them - your diabetes may vary and so might your response to an ‘intelligent’ insulin. Competition in the market place can have an effect on price that is good for consumers. The drug approval process is a long and risky process, given the potential value of a glucose responsive insulin, more “at bats.” is a good thing.
Better is better and I am all for seeing if some smart chemist can bring their skills to solving the science of another way to prevent infused insulin from causing hypos. 
Honestly, looking in the light of blue candles, I can't think of much that is more important.