In June 2020, the FDA has approved a new “ultra-rapid-acting” insulin: Lyumjev (LOOM-jehv) by Eli Lilly. This insulin can be used for adults that have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Ultra-rapid-acting insulin is designed to reduce blood sugar spikes that generally happen after a meal. It will initiate competition with Novo Nordisk’s “ultra-fast-acting” insulin, Fiasp which has been on the market since September 2017.

Research presented at the American Diabetes Association 79th Scientific Sessions in 2019 demonstrated that Lyumjev reached 50% of peak level at 13 minutes (compared to its competitors’ of 19-27 minutes), with its first effect on blood sugar lowering 15 minutes after injection. Its full effect is seen over the first 2 to 3 hours, as one needs for covering the effect of meals.  This may be a great option for people who are taking multiple daily injections of insulin, around mealtimes, and don’t have the time or courage to inject 15 minutes before meals. Earlier studies compared A1c and post-meal blood glucose reduction using Lyumjev with Lilly’s existing rapid-acting insulin, Humalog. Both products showed a reduction in A1c, but Lyumjev showed a greater decrease in 1-hour and 2-hour post-meal blood glucose. It’s important to emphasize that both Humalog and Lyumjev contain the same insulin, lispro, but 2 additives in Lyumjev enhance and speed up insulin absorption, leading to faster onset of its action. The current drawback of Lyumjev includes minimal research on how it affects diabetes control in children with diabetes.

Lilly is currently working on making Lyumjev available to individuals with diabetes as soon as possible. It will be available for anyone with commercial insurance and those without insurance to fill their monthly prescription for $35. With new and competitive products reaching the market, it may be overwhelming to determine what diabetic medications and/or insulins may be right for you. At Grunberger Diabetes Institute, we are here to inform you of your options and help you determine the most effective way to manage your individual needs.