Abbott Laboratories and Bigfoot Biomedical are joining forces to combine their propriety technologies to potentially make life easier for millions suffering from diabetes.
Abbott, maker of the FreeStyle glucometer, and Bigfoot Biomedical, a manufacturer of insulin pumps, will collaborate on a system that will manage insulin dosing without the frequent finger-stick tests traditionally required by Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes, an Abbot release said.
The project will blend Abbott’s Libre technology, which senses blood sugar levels via a skin-mounted sensor, with Bigfoot’s pumps to reduce or potentially eliminate the constant cycle of testing and dosing. Under the agreement, Abbott will be the exclusive supplier of sensors for Bigfoot insulin pumps. A clinical trial of the new system will launch in the U.S. in 2018.
Abbott’s Jared Watkin, senior vice president of diabetes care, said the joint effort was driven in part by the skyrocketing rate of new diabetes cases.
"There is a significant demand for tools that are intuitive and easy to use to help people take control of this complicated, challenging condition, but innovation in this area has been slow," Watkin said in the release. "This (collaboration) will fundamentally transform the way diabetes is managed."
Tthe new technology will make disease management much easier, Bigfoot President and CEO Jeffrey Brewer said.
"Both Abbott and Bigfoot understand the real-world use of diabetes devices,” Brewer said in the release. “A no-calibration glucose sensor is the final piece of the puzzle needed to enable consumer-friendly and accessible integrated insulin delivery systems."
A study of the Libre system’s efficacy showed the device kept patients’ blood glucose levels from hitting extreme high or low points, according to the release. Libre is authorized for use in nearly three dozen countries.