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Xeris' glucagon treatment regulates blood sugar in bariatric surgery patients

Xeris Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s ready-to-use glucagon medicine improved post-meal low blood sugar in patients who have undergone a weight loss surgery during a phase 2 clinical trial.

Patients in the trial had undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss, which can cause episodes of low blood sugar after meals. Persistent episodes of low blood sugar can become severe, resulting in seizures, coma, loss of consciousness and death. Glucagon is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that is used to regulate blood sugar.

Xeris' glucagon formulation is ready-to-use and room-temperature stable. The therapy was compared with a placebo after patients were given two different sets of meals in the trial.

Most of the patients experienced low blood sugar levels 90 to 120 minutes after having a meal. One cohort of the trial self-administered the ready-to-use glucagon and blood glucose levels went back to normal within 15 minutes. The effect was maintained at 30 minutes. The ready-to-use glucagon was safe and well-tolerated in the trial, the company added.

Chicago-based Xeris said in a Dec. 10 press release that if blood glucose levels declined dangerously in the patients, an oral emergency treatment was administered. The group getting the ready-to-use glucagon required fewer follow-up emergency treatments as opposed to the placebo group.

Another ready-to-use glucagon rescue pen made by Xeris called Gvoke is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat severe hypoglycemia in diabetes patients older than two years.