Glucose binding molecule could transform the treatment of diabetes

Receptor binding glucose. Credit: University of Bristol

Scientists from the University of Bristol have designed a new synthetic glucose binding molecule platform that brings us one step closer to the development of the world’s first glucose-responsive insulin which, say researchers, will transform the treatment of diabetes.

The World Health Organization estimate that over 382 million people worldwide, including 4.05 million people in the UK, have diabetes—a metabolic disorder affecting . Everyone with Type 1 diabetes and some people with Type 2 diabetes need to take insulin, either by injection or a pump, to control their .


The team from the University’s School of Chemistry, led by Professor Anthony Davis, in conjunction with spin-out company Ziylo, have developed an innovative technology platform, which could be a key component to enable the next generation of insulin, able to react and adapt to levels in the blood. This could eliminate the risk of hypoglycaemia—dangerously low blood sugar levels—leading to better metabolic control for people living with the disease.


Earlier this year Ziylo was bought by global healthcare company Novo Nordisk in a deal which was worth around $800 million—the biggest deal of its kind in the history of the University of Bristol.

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