Can an endoscopic procedure treat Type 2 diabetes?

An investigational outpatient endoscopic procedure may help eliminate the need for insulin in people with Type 2 diabetes, early research suggests.

Called re-cellularization via electroporation therapy (ReCET), the technology, manufactured by Endogenex, uses a specialized catheter to deliver alternating electric pulses to the duodenum to induce cellular regeneration. This process is thought to improve insulin sensitivity, in part, by altering gut hormones and nutritional sensing.

In the first-in-human study of ReCET, 12 of 14 patients were able to come off insulin for up to a year following the procedure when combined with the use of the glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist semaglutide.

“This might be a game changer in the management of type 2 diabetes because a single outpatient endoscopic intervention was suggested to have a pretty long therapeutic effect, which is compliance-free, as opposed to drug therapy that relies on patients taking the drugs on a daily basis,” said Bergman, professor of gastrointestinal endoscopy at Amsterdam University Medical Center, Netherlands.

Moreover, he added, this technique “goes to the root cause of Type 2 diabetes and tackles the insulin resistance, as opposed to drug therapy, which at best, is disease-controlling, and the effect is immediately gone if you stop the medication.”

ReCET is similar to another product, Fractyl’s Revita DMR, for which Bergman was involved in a randomized clinical trial.

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