GluSense gets funding for implantable biosensor it says could be a year-long CGM

By Jonah Comstock
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GluSense, an Israeli medical device company, announced an undisclosed investment from the JDRF T1D Fund, a recently launched VC philanthropy fund dedicated to funding early stage programs for Type 1 diabetes. GluSense is being incubated in the Rainbow Medical innovation house, a private investment company that seeds and grows medical device companies.

The company’s first product in development is Glyde, a longterm injectable glucose sensor. The device would be implanted under the user’s skin and would last for a year, wirelessly transmitting continuous glucose data to a consumer wearable — a smartwatch, for example.

“Today, diabetic patients need to endure frequent finger pricks daily in order to manage their glucose level, and even with modern CGMs, frequent calibrations, measurement verifications and replacements are still a hassle and limit efficient treatment,” GluSense CEO Dr. Boaz Brill said in a statement. “In contrast, our Glyde continuous glucose monitor (CGM) will provide accurate glucose measurement for a full year with significantly fewer blood glucose calibrations. This ground-breaking technology will simplify and improve the life of people living with T1D and insulin dependent T2D worldwide.” 

The development of the device is still a ways from commercialization, but the funding will help the company launch its first human clinical trial, an important step before GluSense can seek regulatory clearance.

According to the company, GluSense “uses a proprietary fluorescent glucose-sensitive biosensor that ensures accurate glucose measurement across the full physiological range, with enhanced accuracy at the medically important hypo glucose range.” The biosensor is made of “engineered live cells” allowing it to replenish itself over the year. The technology would also allow for less frequent calibrations, the company says.

Current CGMs from companies like Dexcom and Medtronic last about a week before they need to be replaced. Senseonics’ Eversense, a new kind of implantable CGM that is currently available in Europe and prides itself on being a longterm sensor, lasts 90 days at most. So if GluSense can deliver on a once-a-year wireless implantable sensor, it would shake up the market quite a bit.

The GluSense Glyde CGM is a highly innovative and promising technology,” Jonathan Behr, managing director of the T1D Fund, said in a statement. “When paired with future advanced artificial pancreas systems or insulin injections, it will reduce the burden of T1D and help those living with the disease maintain blood glucose levels in a safe range.” 

This is the second investment this year for T1D Fund, which invested at the end of January in BIgfoot Biomedical.