BD to spin off $1B diabetes care business into standalone public company as reported by Andrea Park for FierceBiotech.com, 6 May 2021. After nearly a century spent building out its portfolio of insulin pens and syringes, BD is finally ready to let its diabetes care business leave the nest.
While reporting financial results for the second fiscal quarter of the year, during which revenues grew more than 15% to $4.9 billion, BD also laid out its plans to spin off its diabetes-focused segment. The split is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022, after which the segment will become a completely separate, publicly traded company, tentatively dubbed “NewCo.”
The independent venture will be based in New Jersey and Massachusetts, with manufacturing sites throughout the U.S., Ireland and China. It will be led by CEO Devdatt Kurdikar, who joined BD in February as president of BD Diabetes Care, and Chief Financial Officer Jacob Elguicze, who joined BD this month and is the former treasurer and head of investor relations for Teleflex. The new company will aim to build on BD’s established footprint in the diabetes care market, where it reported revenues of nearly $1.1 billion for fiscal year 2020. BD currently produces around 8 billion injection devices each year for 30 million patients, leaving plenty of room for NewCo to expand operations to reach the approximately 463 million people around the world with diabetes. The company said isolating its diabetes business will give it the space it needs to accumulate the resources and leadership necessary to meet the rising global demand for insulin delivery devices.
Lilly inks smart insulin pen deals with Roche, Dexcom and more was written by Conor Hale for FierceBiotech.com, 6 May 2021.
To make sure its upcoming connected insulin pen system will work with the user’s choice of daily diabetes management platforms, Eli Lilly & Co. has signed compatibility agreements with four international providers. That includes glucose monitoring sensors, digital health programs and other tools from Roche, Dexcom, Glooko and myDiabby Healthcare.
Lilly is developing its Tempo Smart Button—a small device that attaches to its currently available, prefilled Tempo insulin delivery pen—to automatically record medication usage and wirelessly pair with smartphones or other devices. The company aims to secure a CE mark for the Tempo Smart Button by the end of this year, enabling it and the Tempo Pen to be sold as a single package in European markets.
“Insulin dose logging is often an incomplete piece of the diabetes management puzzle for people who use insulin pens and manually track their doses,” Lilly’s VP of product development for connected care and insulins, Marie Schiller, said in a statement.
Apple Watch could gain long-sought glucose tracking with Rockley Photonics deal was reported by Conor Hale for FierceBiotech.com, 3 May 2021.
While the Apple Watch has evolved from a fashionable phone accessory to a high-tech health monitor—capable of scanning for heart conditions and calling for help after injuries—future generations may tap into a deeper set of features to track the body’s inner workings. This could include long-rumored blood sugar readings, from the wrist-worn gadget, plus blood pressure measurements, hydration levels and more, following newly divulged arrangements with the sensor maker Rockley Photonics.
As first reported by The Daily Telegraph, Rockley now lists Apple as its biggest customer and contributor of the lion’s share—or potentially nearly all—of its revenues dating back to 2019. The news comes from the company’s recent filing with the SEC after it went public earlier this year through a $1.2 billion deal with a special purpose acquisition company backed by the pan-Asia investment firm SIN Capital.
In its statement, Rockley said it expects to depend on Apple’s business for a significant portion of its income for the foreseeable future, including revenue from development and delivery of new products to the tech giant. It also expects to see its silicon photonics-powered sensor chips begin to roll out in consumer devices in late 2022.
Oral Glucokinase Activator Gets Breakthrough Tx Status for Type 1 Diabetes, as reported by Brian Park for EndocrinologyAdvisor.com, 4 May 2021.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to TTP399 (vTv Therapeutics, Inc.) as an adjunctive therapy to insulin for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. TTP399 is an investigational oral, hepatoselective glucokinase activator. The designation is supported by data from the phase 2 SimpliciT-1 study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03335371) that evaluated the efficacy and safety of TTP399 as an adjunct to insulin in adults with type 1 diabetes for 12 weeks. (See TSD post, 4/19/21: https://thesavvydiabetic.com/savvy-updates-4-19-21-t1d-pill-gets-fda-breakthrough-designation-home-hba1c-kits-bioactive-glass-toothpaste/)
Findings demonstrated that treatment with TTP399 was associated with a statistically significant improvement in HbA1c compared with placebo. Moreover, a clinically meaningful decrease in the frequency of severe and symptomatic hypoglycemia was observed in TTP399-treated patients. As for safety, TTP399 was found to have a favorable profile. Abnormal levels of serum and urine ketones were reported less frequently in patients taking TTP399 compared with placebo.
Will Insulin in a Pill Soon Become a Reality? was written by Christine Fallabel for DiabetesDaily.com, 3 May 2021.
Researchers from the New York University in Abu Dhabi have successfully developed a pill using nanomaterial layers that disseminate insulin in rats safely without being destroyed by their stomach acids. This could be life-changing for the millions of people around the world who rely on insulin to live.
“Imagine being able to take insulin in a pill instead of injecting it a couple of times a day,” said first author Farah Benyettou, a research scientist in the Trabolsi Research Group at the New York University in Abu Dhabi. “The insulin was loaded in a system that protects it from the acidic environment of the stomach. Once in the body, the system can sense the blood sugar level and can release the loaded insulin on demand.”
The research team in Abu Dhabi thinks it has solved the problem of the insulin-destroying stomach bile issue by encapsulating insulin within nCOF nanoparticles in a capsule that is resistant to such acids but responsive to sugar, reacting quickly when it senses blood glucose in the body is rising but survives the dangerous journey down the G.I. tract to reach the bloodstream.
While this is all excellent news, it’s important to remember that the study’s success was only observed in rats, and human bodies are very different. The team will next test different nanomaterials to see what may be appropriate for human trials, and potentially, widespread market availability.
Walmart Health expands into telemedicine with acquisition of virtual care provider MeMD was reported by Andrea Park for FierceBiotech.com, 7 May 2021.
By the end of its first year, Walmart Health, the retail giant’s consumer healthcare branch, had opened six in-store clinics in Georgia and Arkansas, with 16 more under construction in Illinois and Florida. Halfway into year two, Walmart Health is ready to take its talents to cyberspace. The healthcare provider will soon be able to reach customers in all 50 states via virtual consultations, thanks to Walmart Health’s recent acquisition of telehealth provider MeMD.
MeMD platform gives users around-the-clock access to urgent and primary care physicians, as well as behavioral health clinicians offering talk therapy and other psychiatric interventions. The platform is accessible via computer, phone call and mobile device. The addition of MeMD’s digital services will enhance Walmart’s brick-and-mortar offerings and make it easier for patients to access urgent, primary and behavioral healthcare services, according to Cheryl Pegus, the executive vice president of
“Today people expect omnichannel access to care, and adding telehealth to our Walmart Health care strategies allows us to provide in-person and digital care across our multiple assets and solutions,” Pegus said.
Docs React to Medical Stand-Up Comedy … This is FUN!!! Mikhail Varshavski, DO, who goes by “Doctor Mike” on social media, is a board-certified family medicine physician at the Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey.
In this video, Varshavski and Luis Espina, MD, watch stand-up comics make their sharp (and mostly accurate) observations about medicine, like Jerry Seinfeld in the waiting room, John Mulaney getting an unexpected prostate exam, Mrs. Hughes going through menopause, Brian Regan’s cholesterol, George Carlin’s immune system, Tig Notaro’s breast cancer/double mastectomy operation, and Wanda Sykes and Jim Gaffigan’s take on grapefruits being used to describe tumors.