This morning Belgian startup Indigo Diabetes announced a €38 million ($44.6 million) Series B funding round. This round included contributions from new investors Fund+, Ackermans&van Haaren, Capricorn Digital Growth Fund, imec.xpand and Titan Baratto.
The latest round comes roughly two years after the Ghent University-spinout announced a €7.1 million ($8.2 million) Series A round led by Thuja Capital, Sensinnovat and PMV.
WHAT THEY DO
The Gent-based startup is creating a continuous glucose monitoring sensor and corresponding app.
The sensor is designed to go under the skin and monitor a patient’s glucose levels. It is being developed in order to send real-time warnings and alerts to a patient’s smartphone or other connected device. Users are also able to share their data with others via the corresponding app.
The nanosensors, which are still in the development stage, are expected to last for up to two years and measure ketones as well as glucose.
“By using nanophotonic – a spectrometer in miniature form – our sensor will allow to measure glucose and other biomarkers or metabolites such as ketones accurately and continuously. Unlike the Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems (CGMs) on the market today, our sensor is invisible. The sensor will sit underneath and not on the skin,” Danaë Delbeke, CEO Indigo Diabetes, said in a statement.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The new funds are expected to push forward the development of the product and the next research phase. Indigo Diabetes is looking to conduct clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe, and eventually seek market approval in both, with a goal year of 2023.
The company also reports expanding its team by 25 staff members after the funding.
"For people with type 1 diabetes, but also people with type 2 diabetes who need insulin treatment, this application will give a much better insight into the correct insulin doses and treatment times required to keep sugar levels steady. If we could link this to an insulin pump in the longer term, this would create an autopilot, so to speak, whereby people with diabetes would no longer be required to intervene or adjust anything at all,” Dr. Christophe De Block, a professor at Antwerp University Hospital who is collaborating with Indigo Diabetes to study their product.
The world of diabetes is very quickly evolving, and continuous glucose monitors are at the heart of that evolution. Two of the major players in the space are Abbott and Dexcom.
In 2017 Abbott’s Freestyle Libre system became the first CGM to be FDA cleared for use without finger sticks. In June it launched the FreeStyle Libre 2, an integrated CGM.
Its rival Dexcom got the FDA greenlight in 2018, for its Dexcom G6, an integrated continuous glucose monitoring system, which made it the first interoperable CGM to get the designation. This means that it could be part of an integrated system compatible with other devices, which include automated insulin dosing systems, insulin pumps and blood glucose meters.
There are smaller players in the field as well. In mid-July a needle-free CGM company startup Movano exited stealth with the news of a $10 million bridge funding round. Movano is a connected CGM wearable that doesn’t require the user to break the skin.