Publication in J Control Release

Oral formulation with lipid nanoparticles : an alternative to injections?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects approximately 25% of the world's adult population and is characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver cells. This accumulation of fat can lead to liver inflammation, which can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer. Except for prevention measures which include weight loss, no treatment is currently available on the market.

Among candidate treatments currently being investigated in clinical trials, GLP-1 agonists (used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes) have been shown to improve liver histology and reduce disease progression in patients. GLP-1 is one of the intestinal hormones involved in the regulation of glycemia and is administered by subcutaneous injection.

Ana Beloqui and her team (WEL Research Institute – UCLouvain) developed an oral formulation of a GLP-1 analogue based on lipid nanoparticles. The group demonstrated, in two mouse models of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, that oral administration of this GLP-1 formulation was more effective in slowing down the progression of the disease to more severe states, compared with subcutaneous injection of the same analogue. This oral mode of administration provides opportunities for combination therapies and new treatment perspectives for patients with hepatic steatosis.

Reference: Domingues et al (2023) J. Control. Release, 356 : 542-553

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

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