Enough data were presented at this year's American Diabetes Association meeting to provide convincing evidence that oral and inhaled delivery of insulin will be effective in lowering blood sugar in diabetics. Inhale Therapeutics Systems Inc. along with partners Pfizer Inc. and Aventis S.A. have the most advanced product, an inhaled powder formulation in Phase III trials. However oral versions of insulin, which are in Phase II, might have significant advantages over inhaled formulations, including reduced risk of hypoglycemia and lower insulin levels in peripheral tissues.

Pfizer (PFE, New York, N.Y.) and Aventis (AVE, Strasbourg, France) presented Phase III results showing that Exubera, a fast acting inhaled insulin, was effective lowering post-prandial blood glucose in the short and long term.