BetaBoston

Chew this tablet before meals so you don’t get diabetes

PAZ320, a chewable tablet being developed by Boston Therapeutics, blocks the enzymes that release glucose from complex carbs, preventing post-meal spikes in blood sugar.
PAZ320, a chewable tablet being developed by Boston Therapeutics, blocks the enzymes that release glucose from complex carbs, preventing post-meal spikes in blood sugar.

Your doctor’s been gently prodding you to watch your diet, but now the scolding is serious: You’re prediabetic — in danger of developing type 2 diabetes and the host of health problems that come with it.

You resolve to hit the salad bar more often, but what if there were an easy way to soften the blow on days when that deep dish pizza looks too good to resist?

Boston Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company based in Manchester, N.H., is developing a chewable tablet to do just that. It’s designed to slow or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes by inhibiting the enzymes that release glucose from complex carbohydrates in food. You take one right before a meal, and for about an hour it slows enzyme function so your blood sugar doesn’t spike after eating.

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Results of a phase 2 clinical trial at Dartmouth Medical Center will be published next month in the journal Endocrine Practice, but Boston Therapeutics gave The Hive a sneak preview. The tablet, known as PAZ320, helped 45 percent of patients who tried the it, reducing the post-meal increase in their blood sugar levels by an average of 40 percent.

“We are not here to encourage people to eat badly,” said Boston Therapeutics chief executive David Platt. “We encourage them to eat healthy. But this is another tool. Some diabetics can actually become normal again with a combination of healthy diet, exercise, and PAZ320.”

The tablet is still at least two years from market, Platt said, but encouraging results from the latest trial suggest it could help diabetics and prediabetics avoid complications like heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

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