Diabetes mellitus is a common chronic disorder, which is increasing in prevalence on a global scale. Insulin replacement therapy is required for all people with Type 1 diabetes and for many with Type 2 diabetes, to correct the metabolic abnormalities of these disorders. However, the pharmacokinetics and glucodynamics of available insulins have numerous limitations. Problems include delayed absorption from subcutaneous absorption sites (soluble [regular] insulin), and wide variability of absorption characteristics (insulin isophane suspension [NPH] and insulin lente) that is influenced by the adequacy of resuspension, and by a variable and insufficient duration of action, which usually requires intermediate-acting insulins to be administered twice-daily. All insulin preparations are associated with the common side effect of hypoglycaemia, and encourage weight gain.