Chewing Gum Infused with Type 2 Medicine?

Glucose-controlling metformin, the generic drug that is the first medication for many newly diagnosed type 2s, could soon be available in a chewing gum.

That’s the hope held by Massachusetts-based Generex Biotechnology Corporation, which has announced that it is ready to test its proprietary metformin chewing gum product, MetControl™, on 36 volunteer patients. In the study, Generex will compare the speed and efficacy of MetControl to that of immediate-release metformin tablets.

Metformin is the most prescribed drug for type 2 patients. Nevertheless, many people with diabetes avoid using it because of its gastrointestinal side effects, large pill size and bitter taste. These factors are especially off-putting to the increasing number of children being diagnosed with type 2.

Generex believes that the delivery of metformin in a good-tasting chewing gum will make the drug more acceptable to these patients and thereby increase adherence with diabetes therapy.

Because metformin is safe, well known and well established, the company does not anticipate taking as long to come to market with MetControl as it would with a product containing a new active compound. Such products typically must undergo stringent testing that can last years.