Senseonics, TypeZero partner on artificial pancreas research

By Jonah Comstock
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A new partnership in the diabetes space could bring the promise of an artificial pancreas closer to reality. Senseonics, a Germantown, Maryland company working on a pill-sized, implantable continuous glucose monitor that can last 90 days without needing replacement, will work with digital, personalized medicine company TypeZero Technologies on a project to integrate readings from Senseonics devices into TypeZero’s inControl software platform, which can either be used for decision support for manual insulin dosing or automatically adjust and regulate insulin delivery via an insulin pump. The two have signed an R&D licensing agreement.

“We’re thrilled to partner with TypeZero with the goal of progressing the diabetes management field in providing solutions to help minimize the burden of diabetes for millions of people,” Senseonics CEO and President Tim Goodnow said in a statement. “It is particularly gratifying that the combined Eversense and inControl platform is intended to be used by either insulin pumpers or insulin pen users. The continuous long-term use of an accurate sensor such as Eversense combined with the clinically proven treatment algorithms of inControl has the promise of impacting both pump and pen users in a positive and meaningful way.”

The partnership is nonexclusive, which is not surprising, considering that TypeZero is also integrating with Dexcom's CGM and Tandem diabetes pumps in an NIH-funded clinical trial at the University of Virginia, one of four such trials the NIH is supporting. The other promising effort toward a closed-loop CGM and insulin dosing system is from Medtronic, which received an unprecedented FDA clearance for a hybrid system last year.

A potential TypeZero-Senseonics system would have several advantages over other proposed or in-development systems. Senseonic's CGM — which is being deployed in Europe but still awaiting FDA clearance for United States sales — is very different from existing CGMs. The device is small and unobtrusive and lasts at least 90 days before it needs to be replaced — in contrast to the five to seven days that current not-quite-so-invasive CGMs last. Additionally, the system the companies announced today will be designed for both insulin pump users and insulin pen users, who actually make up the majority of insulin users.

“We see the combination of our inControl technology with Senseonics’ sensor as potentially a huge win for persons with diabetes,” TypeZero CEO Chad Rogers said in a statement. “In many ways CGM data is the heartbeat of our artificial pancreas and decision support technologies, and integrating our inControl platform with the reliable and durable Eversense CGM System which could give patients yet another tool for managing their health and simplifying their lives.”