State of the unions

An overview of the movers and shakers in the world of diabetes tech with an emphasis on integration and communication.

Abbott and Tandem Diabetes Care are advancing development of integrated technologies for future automated insulin delivery systems. These would combine Abbott’s world-leading continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology with Tandem’s innovative insulin delivery systems to provide more options for people to manage their diabetes. This agreement covers the technical development of device integration and associated commercial support activities.

John Sheridan, president and CEO of Tandem Diabetes Care has stated,”We’re excited to integrate our insulin delivery systems with Abbott’s glucose-sensing technology, and we look forward to expanding options for our customers so that they can combine devices that best suit their personal needs. We are proud to have an insulin pump capable of remote software updates that can make access to future integrations possible for in-warranty t:slim X2 users at the time of release without requiring a new pump.”

The need for interoperability between diabetes devices is widely recognized. Tandem’s t:slim X2 insulin pump was the first to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in a new device category called alternate controller enabled (ACE) infusion pumps in 2019. The special controls for ACE pumps allow for reliable and secure communication with compatible external devices. Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 integrated continuous glucose monitoring (iCGM) system was recently cleared by the FDA for adults and children (4 years and older).

Jared Watkin, senior vice president, Diabetes Care, Abbott adds, “Abbott is working with our partners to bring integrated technologies at an affordable price for people with diabetes who rely on using insulin pumps. By combining our glucose sensing technology with Tandem’s proven insulin delivery systems, we will be able to create a cohesive ecosystem for people with diabetes that can fit easily into their daily lives.”

The companies will focus initial commercial activities in the U.S. and Canada with additional countries coming in the future.

Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 system is the only iCGM system with optional real-time alarms that measures glucose levels every minute, meeting the highest level of accuracy standards. The FreeStyle Libre 2 next-generation sensor is worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days and with a one-second scan using a handheld reader, users can see their glucose reading, trend arrow and eight-hour history.


In agreement
As reported by Drug Delivery Business in early July 2020, “Two major insulin pump makers — Medtronic and Tandem Diabetes Care — announced a non-exclusive patent cross-license agreement related to diabetes treatment tech. The companies said the agreement will allow them to focus on innovation while avoiding the distraction of potential legal disagreements.

The deal is another example of how medical device companies are trying to avoid unnecessary costs — including potentially money-draining litigation and intellectual property cases — amid the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession. The cross-license agreement involves Medtronic and Tandems’ existing products, as well as new products for at least the next five years. The two companies also promised not to clone each other’s products. No money is changing hands as part of the deal. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed. The news comes nearly two weeks after Abbott and Tandem Diabetes Care completed their agreement.


Meanwhile in the US, Tandem Diabetes Care (TDC) has bought an insulin app, Sugarmate. As written by Omar Ford for Medical Device and Diagnositc Industry (MD+DI), the deal is for an undisclosed sum whereby Sugarmate will become a subsidiary and will be led by its founder, Josh Juster..  Susan Morrison, Executive VP and Chief Administrative Officer for Tandem, commented, “As we were considering this, what stood out to us was the Sugarmate application and the response from people with diabetes on how much they liked the app. As we look at our future digital health offerings, we’re looking to build out an ecosystem of diabetes products and services that help support that overall mission. The Sugarmate app has proven to be popular with people who use insulin pumps as well as people who use multiple daily injections. It really helps visualize diabetes therapy data in innovative ways. It allows users to log health and nutrition information and it can provide notifications and alerts to the users as well as their families. It very much helps support people’s diabetes management.”

The company said Sugarmate will not replace the upcoming t:connect mobile app.


Diabetes ecosystem
Biocorp has signed an agreement for Roche Diabetes Care France to distribute its Mallya technology to pharmacies in France. Mallya is a two-year reusable injector pen sensor compatible with most disposable and reusable insulin injection pens. It automatically collects the insulin dose delivered with near 100% accuracy. In the future, Mallya will also be part of the RocheDiabetes ecosystem, consisting of connected blood glucose meters (Accu-Chek Mobile, Accu-Chek Guide) and digital solutions for better patient care.


Hypo help
As reported by Business Wire, Xeris Pharmaceuticals has announced that the Gvoke HypoPen now available in the US, the first autoinjector for severe hypoglycemia. The company is leveraging its novel formulation technology platforms to develop and commercialize ready-to-use injectable and infusible drug formulations. The Gvoke HypoPen is the first ready-to-use glucagon in a premixed autoinjector, with no visible needle. Bruce Bode, MD, Atlanta Diabetes Associates explains, “Gvoke HypoPen allows the diabetes community to change how we approach treating severe low blood sugar events. Anyone can use Gvoke HypoPen in two simple steps. That opens the door for some patients to even give it to themselves, in certain situations. My hope is that what was once considered a crisis moment, can now become a manageable situation with Gvoke HypoPen.”


Desang Diabetes Magazine is our free-to-receive digital journal (see below). We cover diabetes news, diabetes management equipment (diabetes ‘kit’ such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring equipment) and news about food suitable for a diabetic diet including a regular Making Carbs Count column. We just need your email address to subscribe you (it really is free, and you can easily unsubscribe should you wish to).
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