C-peptide could prevent complications in people with type 1 diabetes: Where can I get some?

Until today, I thought of C-peptide as one of the tests that they do to see how much insulin your body was producing.

While reading Allie’s Voice and Scott’s blog, I learned about the importance of c-peptide for protecting the walls of our arteries and maintaining nerve function (OK, someone correct me if any of this is wrong… this is all new info for me). Here is the simplest explanation that I found: click here.

Now I know that most type 1’s out there have VERY low levels of c-peptide in their body… Using animal insulins used to give type 1 diabetics both insulin and c-peptide. Analog insulins give us ONLY insulin without the c-peptide and its apparent healing powers.

When I search for the answer WHY, Allie, Scott (very reliable voices, IMHO), and even Wikipedia indicated that it is an unethical move on the part of pharmaceutical companies. The research is there on the benefits of c-peptide-- our type 1 bodies don’t make it and now (since most of us use analog insulin) we don’t get it. So our nerves and blood vessels suffer.

In a former discussion , Michelle Curtis pointed out that perhaps the reason for NOT putting c-peptide back in our insulin is that most type 2’s don’t need c-peptide. And we know that they form the biggest market for pharmaceutical companies.

OK, even if I can’t have the c-peptide with my insulin (unless i switch to animal insulin), I would inject it separately. So what I want to know is : WHERE can I get c-peptide? There seems to be a company in Sweden working to develop c-peptide injections… is there anything like this on the market yet???

http://www.genwaybio.com/product_info.php?products_id=79619&osCsid=j77kdt51tfum4d1q0linrg8ia4

I found that link just on a quick search on synthetic c-peptide. I am going to do more research when I have time as right now I am playing catch up on homework.

Thanks Cody!! I will check it out as well and keep researching…

But I need to write a paper for university… so let’s get our homework done first ;)… More later!

I just found a great post from Jenny’s blog (written very recently). Check it out here.

I know, me too. This has ticked me off from day one. I was in a research study right after diagnosis and my peak stimulated c-pep (not just fasting, but after drinking a shake thing or being injected via IV with arginine) went from 2.8 during honeymoon to “undetectable” in less than 2 years. So basically I didn’t make one tiny detectable molecule of it, even when pushed to. Fun, fun. Currently c-peptide is not on the market and no, you can’t get it yet. And that stinks. I sincerely hope this Swedish company is successful, but even then… will we actually get the stuff? Will it be deemed “necessary” and affordable and insurance-approved? Or will only those folks who have enough money benefit from it?

Remember also that the beta cells don’t just make insulin & c-peptide! They also make amylin. Amylin blunts the nutrient-stimulated glucagon at mealtimes and thus suppresses excess glucose release by the liver (i.e. keeps blood sugar from rising so much), it slows gastric emptying (i.e. keeps blood sugar from rising so quickly) and it keeps the bone-building and bone-breaking-down guys in balance (i.e. protects you from osteoporosis & weak bones). You can get amylin now in Symlin, if you can afford it and if you live in the right place. (I’m in Europe & it’s not even available here).

I’ve read that amylin & c-pep also help insulin work better (sorry, can’t remember exact mechanism of action off the top of my head). All three are truly necessary, if not for survival (where only insulin is needed), but for health. Imagine how healthy we could all be if we got all three like a normal body does?

Howdy, All! Seems like I heard of a couple of outfits in England that still produced pig and cow insulin. That is where I would start searching. The next important question is how much will a Type 1 need for it to be efficacious.

Peace
danny

From what I read in Jenny’s post, it seems that in current animal insulins, the c-peptide is removed/made ineffective during the purification process??? Not sure if this is true with all animal insulins… but it seems that we might not even be able to get it there!!!

OK, while I would agree that type 2 patients form the biggest market for pharmaceutical companies, it is worth noting that according to the CDC, 75% of all insulin buyers are patients with type 1 diabetes, not patients with type 2. In fact, it is widely cited that most patients with type 2 who probably should be using insulin are not. I think the cost of selling the product has prevented them from doing so, as the profit margins on insulin are frankly, beyond those for most other pharmaceuticals. There is little fundamental new science involved since the discovery back in the 1920’s; a majority of analogues are “me-too” copycat products, not innovations, so I think greed is holding them back. Now that Creative Peptides AB from Sweden has many patents on the product, that will also prevent others from attempting to commercialize it, but sooner or later, it will become available, but let me ask the question: do you want to take insulin, amylin (Symlin) and C-Peptide injections with each and every meal, or would you rather have a cure? I have mixed feelings on this; while I would benefit from having C-Peptide, I think all these stop-gaps and new products just makes a cure that much further away because it minimizes the apparent need for a cure.

This is true; since the advent of high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) purification procedures were invented in the 1970’s, all insulin – whether it is animal-sourced or biosynthetic – undergoes a 14-stage purification process which means regardless of how the insulin is made, it is universally pure and free from virtually all contaminants. But it also means that any residual C-Peptide which may have remained is also removed. It should be noted that biosynthetic insulin can be made 2 different ways, either by creating both the A and B chains, then re-attaching them with a chemical procedure, or biosynthetic proinsulin can be made and then the insulin molecule is cleaved off … my understanding is that the proinsulin route is very inefficient and is not used by any of the manufacturers, but it is possible to make it in either of these ways. Also, animal studies undertaken with proinsulin given as a therapeutic resulted in many “adverse events” (namely death due to cardiac arrest), so no one has looked at using that as a replacement since then (to the best of my knowledge, anyway).

Scott-- Thanks for your comments.

I agree completely-- a cure is much more urgent that c-peptide being on the market. My original understanding was that insulin companies were essentially producing proinsulin and throwing out the c-peptide. Since that is not the case, I would say that I would rather have researchers working on a cure than on bringing c-peptide injections to the market. BUT I wonder if some insulin company would start producing proinsulin (even though it’s less efficient) and selling that at a higher price. I don’t know how realistic this is or how much more it would cost (as you mentioned the profit margins on insulin are already huge).

But I’m with you. What we really need is a cure.

Great post Kristen.

Researchers have been tinkering around with supplementing insulin regimens with C-peptide for years, but this is the first I heard of a demonstrated benefit to peripheral neuropathy.

I sent off an e-mail to the chief medical officer of Creative Peptides, the company that’s applied for US patents. Any details, I’ll repost here.

Scott is right in that a cure, of course, is preferable; however I would add that anything that helps in taking care of ourselves in the meantime is welcome.

Another thought - I’d be a bit wary of being a member of the first generation of people to use a new therapy. I’m not overly concerned, as c-peptide is in fact endogenously secreted along with insulin.

OK, the Chief Medical Officer of Creative Peptides got back to me. He was apologetic, but apparently the projected timeline for commercial availability of C-peptide in the US is 3-4 years. Sorry guys. At least we can be happy they’re making progress in diabetes treatment, however slow.

I used to work with this stuff in the research lab, but the cost if you purchase it through a laboratory supply catolog is prohibitive, not to mention it not being of a grade appropriate for human use.

Will it be available sooner in Europe? Or he didn’t mention that?

He seemed to indicate it wouldn’t be available anywhere for the 3-4 year timeframe.

My understanding is that they are still in Phase II Human Clinical Trials, which means that even when this is done, they still have Phase III Clinical Trials, then they must apply for approval in the U.S., Europe, and anywhere else they want to sell it. Most likely, they will subcontract the manufacture out to a third-party (such as Schering-Plough or Hospira, Inc., for example), so given the work that remains, I would venture to guess that 3-4 years is a presumption assuming no delays, but that would likely be best case scenario, not necessarily a sure thing.

This is very interesting and informative, thank you!

I was wondering how they get pig insulin, as I am a vegan and don’t feel that I would be able to use it if it was at all cruel to the pigs, does anyone know? If the c-peptide is removed from animal insulin what would be the point anyway?

I feel that the addition of c-peptide and Amylin to insulin is very important. I would much rather have an efficient insulin then put my hopes in a cure being found. I’m sorry but I just don’t trust the medical profession to find a holistic ‘cure’, I feel that they will just run with something which (like insulin with no c-peptide) addresses only part of the problem. I have no desire to be given a cure which (for example) would entail me taking immune suppression drugs for the rest of my life. I hope more than anything that I am way behind on this issue, and that a better cure is in the pipeline (it is not something I have done much research on) as I just don’t see them coming up with anything which will work without serious side effects? I would much rather have a top notch insulin and more research done into the nutritional deficiencies associated with diabetes and how to address them.