Medtronic plans to buy connected insulin pen startup Companion Medical

The company's smart insulin pen, dubbed the InPen, is slated to become part of Medtronics diabetes portfolio.
By Laura Lovett
11:26 am
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This morning medical device company Medtronic announced its plans to buy Companion Medical, which is best known for making the InPen, an insulin pen that integrates a companion app, for an undisclosed sum. 

Companion Medical has been in the digital health game for some time. Its InPen fist scored FDA clearance in 2016 and its funding round attracted the likes of pharma giant Eli Lilly. The connected pen comes with a mobile companion app that lets users keep track of their data including insulin doses, active insulin, and recommendation about meal time and correct dosing. Patients are also able to share data with caregivers and clinicians. The app is also able to sync with CGMs. 

Once Medtronic’s acquisition of the company is complete the InPen will sit in its diabetes portfolio, which already includes continuous glucose monitoring technology. 

The companies are predicting that the deal will close in two months’ time. 

WHY IT MATTERS

Medtronic has been set on building out a closed-loop system for diabetes management. Its efforts have included not just the development of new products but also the acquisition of companies, even including diet-management startups Klue and Nutrino.

This latest purchase furthers the company’s foothold in the diabetes space, and will mark its first connected insulin pen.  

“This acquisition is an ideal strategic fit for Medtronic as we further simplify diabetes management and improve outcomes by optimizing dosing decisions for the large number of people using multiple daily injection (MDI). We look forward to building upon the success of the InPen by combining it with our intelligent algorithms to deliver proactive dosing advice personalized to each individual. This smart CGM system can help people think less about diabetes and be able to live life with more freedom, on their own terms,” Sean Salmon, executive vice president and president of the Diabetes Group at Medtronic, said in a statement. ”Our goal is to become a trusted partner that offers consistent support whether an individual wants to stay on MDI, transition to automated insulin delivery or take a break from their pump.”

THE LARGER TREND 

When it comes to diabetes Medtronic is best known for its hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery systems. In 2016 its MiniMed 670G became the first FDA-cleared CGM that control automated insulin delivery via a hybrid closed-loop system. 

The connected insulin pen space is also growing. Bigfoot Biomedical, a diabetes startup that is aiming to develop an automated insulin delivery through a connected insulin pen, announced a $45 million raise in a Series C round led by Abbott. Another player in the space is Novo Nordisk. Its connected insulin pens let users see their insulin data, along with glucose readings. 

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