Bigfoot Biomedical gets $35.5M for connected, automated insulin delivery system

By Heather Mack
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Milpitas, California-based diabetes management company Bigfoot Biomedical has raised $35.5 million in Series A funding in a round with participation from Cormorant Asset Management, Senvest Capital and Visionnaire Ventures. The funding will be used to further develop the company’s connected, automated insulin delivery service.

Bigfoot bills itself as “drawing a circle around everything that it takes to manage insulin-dependent diabetes.” Its in-development solution is called smartloop, a cloud-connected ecosystem that implements wearable insulin delivery and glucose monitoring tools that integrate with a companion smartphone app. 

The smartloop solution will be accessed with a single prescription and reimbursed as a service for a monthly fee, and it leverages passive data capture and machine learning to offer personalized therapy and decision support to both patients and their physicians. 

“Bigfoot Biomedical is only the second company in the world to embed a closed loop control algorithm in a sensor augmented insulin pump,” said CEO and cofounder Jeffrey Brewer in a statement. “From a standing start it took Bigfoot a year and a half to reach this milestone; to design, develop, manufacture and begin human trials with an integrated automated insulin delivery system.”

The company was created based on a personal connection to one of the cofounders. In 2011, Bigfoot cofounder and chief technology officer Bryan Mazlish’s 5-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In 2014, Mazlish developed his own insulin delivery system by hacking into an off-the-shelf insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor, then writing an algorithm to automatically dose insulin. He then created a companion app to bring it all together. Bigfoot was founded shortly thereafter with Brewer, Lane Desborough and Jon Brilliant, and within two years they acquired the assets of diabetes equipment supplier Asante Solutions, and established partnerships with glucose monitoring companies.

In July, the company began clinical trials of the smartloop system and plans to submit for FDA premarket approval in 2017.