The devices are hoped to be an oral alternative to parenteral (injection-based) delivery of peptides. There are, however, numerous challenges involved in developing and producing a reliable peptide delivery vehicle. Those hurdles include overcoming epithelial barriers, avoiding premature degradation in the body, producing both peptide and the delivery vehicle cost-effectively, and limiting variability of absorption (which can be caused by interaction with food in the stomach).
Novo Nordisk has said that if such obstacles can be overcome, the devices hold tremendous promise for diseases requiring patients to take frequent injections.
The partnership will establish a number of research positions to be hosted by the MIT laboratory and funded by Novo Nordisk. The collaboration’s initial term is three years, with the option to extend for up to three more years.