Dexcom looks ahead to widening CGM market in Q2 call

By Jonah Comstock
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DexCom hasn’t been shy about its plan for opening up the CGM market by encouraging CGM use in a wider group of people with diabetes — including, eventually, people with Type 2 diabetes. On its second quarter earnings call, the company went deep on that focus on the future.

“More and more people with diabetes are adopting CGM that as the primary tool to manage their condition, especially as we have seen a substantial uptick in the number of covered lives worldwide in the past 12 months,” CEO Kevin Sayer said on the company’s recent earnings call. “The ‘CGM First’ message is being broadcast not only by DexCom, but by a growing proportion of the clinical community, as the body of evidence supporting the value of CGM continues to build. This was the clear takeaway for DexCom leaving the American Diabetes Association Meeting, the biggest diabetes conference of the year. … We left ADA with a strengthened belief that CGM will represent the standard of care in intensive diabetes management over time regardless of age or choice of insulin therapy by the patients.”

The company’s long-term planning is starting to pay off. DexCom made a net GAAP income of $2.9 million in the quarter, and increased revenue from $137 million in Q2 2016 to $171 million last quarter. The company also raised $400 million at convertible senior notes with favorable financial terms.

“Although, DexCom had already been in a strong financial position, we continue to see multiple growth opportunities ahead of us, both in the intensive and non-intensive diabetes markets.” Sayer said.

In addition to the company’s just-begun Medicare rollout, Sayer dove in at length about two of those opportunities: Dexcom’s upcoming G6 sensor and the company’s partnership with Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences). The two are related because the Verily device, which is targeting the type 2 market, will use the G6 sensor.

The G6 is currently making its way through the FDA process, with plans to submit a PMA by the end of Q3. The process is moving so fast that Dexcom has scrapped plans to push a new application configuration for the G5 through FDA.

“The gap between the launch of this G5 configuration and G6 continues to narrow, reaching a point where the operational strain associated with launching a new applicator and sensor platform less than a year apart no longer makes strategic sense,” he said.

During the Q&A, Sayer went into a little more detail about how Dexcom will work with Type 2 patients. Those patients won’t use the CGM the same way that Type 1 patients do.

“The first thing we have to do … is develop the proper model,” he said. “For example, we know that all of our Type 2 patients aren't going to wear sensors 24-7, 365 days a year. So identifying how many patients wear one sensor, how many get one per quarter, how many go on a 10-week program where they learn to manage their condition better. And we're running studies to validate those assumptions and validate that model. Ultimately, some of your Type 2 diabetes [patients] can control their condition through adjusting three factors: exercise, diet, and their meds. We're finding that CGM has an impact on all three.”

Finally, Dexcom announced on the call that it has finally filled its CFO position that has been open since Jess Roper resigned April 1st. Quentin Blackford, former CFO at NuVasive, will take over in September for interim CFO Kevin Sun.

Sayer concluded the call by reminding investors of the company’s focus on the future.

“We're built for the long haul here at DexCom,” he said. “Our R&D investments are going to pay tremendous dividends. Our product focus on reduced costs, increased adherence, convenience, and, finally, continued world-leading performance will get us where we need to be. Glucose Monitoring is a product categories in its infant stages and we intend to go far beyond the markets where we play today and our strategies are taking shape.”