Interview with Dexcom COO Jake Leach about the Dexcom G7/Apple Watch Integration by Daniel Trecroci for, June 2024.

Explore the innovative pairing of the Apple Watch and the Dexcom G7 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device.  In this talk, Jake Leach discusses the cutting-edge capabilities of the Dexcom G7 and how its seamless Apple Watch integration is transforming the way people manage their diabetes. Find out how this integration provides users with improved convenience and real-time glucose monitoring.

Why Diabetes Miracle Drugs like Ozempic Are Off-Limits to Type 1s by April Hopcroft for, 18 June 2024.

While medications such as GLP-1 receptor agonists (Ozempic, Wegovy) and SGLT-2 inhibitors (Jardiance, Farxiga) demonstrated powerful benefits, they quickly were determined to pose too much of a liability for pharmaceutical companies or regulators due to safety concerns. Specifically, GLP-1s can increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and SGLT-2s can raise the risk of a serious, life-threatening complication called diabetic ketoacidosis.

Some people with type 1 diabetes choose to take these medications “off-label” with the support of their healthcare provider. This means taking a drug for a different purpose, at a different dose, or in a different dosage form from which it is FDA-approved. 

“The word ‘adjunctive’ is about helping,” said Prof. Chantal Mathieu, professor of medicine at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium and president of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). “So adjunctive therapies are supposed to be therapies that help insulin with glucose-lowering.” 

The benefits of GLP-1s, SGLT-2s, and metformin for type 1 diabetes are widely documented, both in clinical research and in anecdotes from people with diabetes. From flattening CGM curves to reducing “food noise” – the constant internal chatter that some people experience about food – adjunctive therapies can dramatically improve daily diabetes management. In the longer term, these medications can also prevent complications like kidney disease and heart failure for type 1s. 

Incretin therapies like GLP-1s were created as glucose-lowering medications specifically to help people with diabetes. The tremendous weight loss was an unexpected benefit. In a cruel twist of fate, a substantial proportion of people with diabetes cannot even access these miracle drugs.

While GLP-1s and SGLT-2s began as glucose-lowering medications, the research shows that these drugs also protect the heart and kidneys in people with – and without – type 2 diabetes. These findings have led experts to consider these medications as protective therapies rather than purely glucose-lowering drugs. A large study of people with type 1 diabetes treated with adjunctive therapies documented many benefits, from reductions in A1C to improved kidney and heart health. 

“We’re now very frustrated in the type 1 world,” Mathieu said. “We would like to give these medications to people with type 1 diabetes, not as adjunctive therapies to lower glucose but as therapies to protect the heart and kidney for people at high risk.”

Read more: Why Diabetes Miracle Drugs like Ozempic Are Off-Limits to Type 1s

Study backs Sequel Med Tech’s automated insulin pump that provides faster occlusion detection by Sean Whooley for, 11 June 2024.

A study looking at automated insulin delivery technology from Sequel Med Tech highlighted the ability to address delayed occlusion detection.  According to Sequel, an insulin pump’s failure to deliver insulin in the right amount at the right time is a preventable cause of hospitalization. The company says advances in insulin delivery technology so far fail to meaningfully address this issue.

The study evaluated key performance metrics of a novel insulin pump — Sequel’s twiist system. twiist, powered by Tidepool, directly measures the volume and flow of insulin delivered with every microdose. It offers the capability and flexibility to address each patient’s individual dosing needs. The FDA cleared twiist in March. Sequel’s pump detects “silent insulin non-delivery” caused by blockage, delivery of air, and site leakage. It features an acoustic sensor that measures the volume of insulin delivered with each pulse in real time.

The study compared twiist to three U.S. commercial insulin pumps ( Medtronic 600/700 series, Tandem Diabetes Care t:slim X2, and Insulet Omnipod). According to the abstract, it found that twiist outperformed commercial pumps on long-term basal flow rate error. It produced occlusion detection between five and 30 times faster, depending on the basal rate. The pump also was associated with significantly lower (two to five times) pressures at the time of occlusion.

With air included in the drug reservoir, the tested commercial pumps can infuse air without detection. Investigators said Sequel’s pump prevented air delivery without interruption.

Read more: Sequel Med Tech’s automated insulin pump that provides faster occlusion detection

Glucagon Blocker and SGLT2 Inhibitor: Winning Combo in T1D? by Shrabasti Bhattacharya for, 20 June 2024.

In patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D), sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors plus glucagon receptor antagonists (GRAs) may improve glycemic control, reduce insulin use, and mitigate ketogenesis risk compared with SGLT2 inhibitors alone.

SGLT2 inhibitors are known to be effective in treating diabetes but can increase fasting glucagon levels, which reduces the drugs’ ability to lower blood glucose levels and enhances ketone production. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, researchers tested whether combining a GRA with an SGLT2 inhibitor would improve glucose control, reduce insulin requirements, and mitigate the risk for diabetic ketoacidosis in patients with T1D.

IN PRACTICE: “These outcomes underscore glucagon’s critical role in T1D metabolism and the potential of blocking glucagon action, which could facilitate the safe use of SGLT2 inhibitors,” the authors wrote.

Read more: Glucagon Blocker and SGLT2 Inhibitor: Winning Combo in T1D?

Tech in Diabetes: What’s Going Wrong? by Crystal Phend for, 21 June 2024.

“We are wowing the world in technology — much of it related to the field that you’re interested in [diabetes],” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD told attendees at the keynote opening session of the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions. “We are not succeeding in implementation of the things that we know. We need to bring these things together so that we harness technology, particularly digital technology and AI [artificial intelligence], to the benefit of the people that we care about.”

He pointed to the dismal numbers: “The U.S. and almost every other high-income country had about the same life expectancy and spent about the same amount on healthcare,” he said. But then as per-capita health expenditure rose over time, “all the countries rise up to have longer life expectancy for a reasonable cost, except for one outlying country — that’s the United States of America.”

High fasting glucose, poor diet, and high BMI are all in the top five factors behind death and loss of disability-adjusted life years in the U.S. And according to some sources, diabetes has now surpassed cancer as the leader in the economic cost of healthcare in the U.S., with some 34 million adults having some form of diabetes in 2020, he said. “This is an honor I’m not sure I’d want to have, but it does give you a lot of power to do things to make this better.”

Technology has brought incredible advances in diabetes, notably continuous glucose monitoring and pumps that make life more manageable for patients.  However, Califf pointed to a truism Ed Yong wrote in The Atlantic: “Technological solutions tend to rise into society’s penthouses, while epidemics seep into its cracks.

While those words were written about the pandemic, Califf said, “if you look at all the technology we developed in diabetes — and I saw this very much when I was working at Google or Alphabet — despite all the avenues, there was a great tendency for the best things to be taken up by people with PhDs and living in urban areas. Most of our people were left out and haven’t caught on as much.”

Read more: Tech in Diabetes: What’s Going Wrong?

Beyond Biotech – the podcast from Labiotech from, 14 June 2024.

Diamyd Medical develops precision medicine therapies for the prevention and treatment of Type 1 diabetes and LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults).Diamyd is an antigen-specific immunomodulatory therapeutic for the preservation of endogenous insulin production. It has been granted Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S. as well as Fast Track Designation. DIAGNODE-3, a confirmatory phase 3 trial, uses injections into a superficial lymph node can to optimize the treatment response. 

In this podcast we have a conversation about treatments of type 1 diabetes, including the company’s development of Diamyd. Our guest is Anders Essen-Möller, founder and chairman of Diamyd Medical.

Listen to the Labiotech podcast: Looking to cure Type 1 diabetes

Tandem names Jean-Claude Kyrillos as chief operating officer by Nick Paul Taylor for, 21 June 2024.

Tandem Diabetes Care has appointed Jean-Claude Kyrillos as chief operating officer. The appointment gives Kyrillos a leading role in work to expand the insulin delivery company’s global operations and achieve profitable growth. Kyrillos last worked at Envista, a dental care company that was spun off from Danaher in 2019, and held positions at Qualcomm’s healthcare unit, Becton Dickinson and Resmed earlier in his career. 

Tandem CEO John Sheridan said Kyrillos “brings deep experience in healthcare and a great balance of technical, operational, and leadership skills from multiple roles in large and small medical technology companies” in a statement about the new hire. 

Read more: Tandem names Jean-Claude Kyrillos as chief operating officer

Chronic Kidney Disease Tied to Tooth Loss After Menopause by, 20 June 2024.

In postmenopausal women, chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be associated with tooth loss, according to a study published online June 11 in Menopause.  Na-Yeong Kim, from the Chonnam National University School of Dentistry in Gwangju, South Korea, and colleagues evaluated the association between CKD and tooth loss in postmenopausal women. 

“This study highlights the known link between chronic kidney disease and bone metabolism. Increased attention to oral and bone health is warranted in postmenopausal women with chronic kidney disease, in addition to meticulous efforts aimed at preserving kidney function,” Stephanie Faubion, M.D., medical director of The Menopause Society, said in a statement. “Conversely, oral health is a window to overall health, and good oral hygiene is important for women of all ages.”

Read more: Chronic Kidney Disease Tied to Tooth Loss After Menopause

Amazon expands drug subscription program to Medicare members by Rebecca Pifer for, 18 June 2024.

Amazon has expanded its generic drug savings program to Prime members on Medicare, throwing open the program’s doors to a major population of medication users — if Amazon can get them to sign up.  The subscription service, called RxPass, is now available to more than 50 million Medicare members in 46 states, according to a Tuesday release. RxPass is not yet available in California, Washington, Texas or Minnesota.

RxPass is separate from insurance, but Amazon had to undertake additional regulatory and compliance measures for Medicare beneficiaries to be able to use the subscription service, a spokesperson said.

Amazon rolled out RxPass last year as the e-commerce giant looked to beef up its online pharmacy, called Amazon Pharmacy, to attract more Prime members to the service.  Amazon has struggled with the uptake of Amazon Pharmacy since launching the business in 2020 to compete with drugstores like CVS and Walgreens amid the rising need for affordable medications.

RxPass subscribers pay $5 a month to fill as many prescriptions as needed from a list of about 60 generic medications, including delivery to their doorstep.

Read more: Amazon expands drug subscription program to Medicare members

Americans are paying too much for prescription drugs. It is a common, longstanding complaint. And the culprits seem obvious: Drug companies. Insurers. A dysfunctional federal government. But there is another collection of powerful forces that often escape attention because they operate in the bowels of the healthcare system and cloak themselves in such opacity and complexity that many people don’t even realize they exist.

They are called pharmacy benefit managers. And they are driving up drug costs for millions of people, employers, and the government.

The three largest pharmacy benefit managers, or P.B.M.s, act as middlemen overseeing prescriptions for more than 200 million Americans. They are owned by huge healthcare conglomerates — CVS Health, Cigna, and UnitedHealth Group — and are hired by employers and governments.

The job of the P.B.M.s is to reduce drug costs. Instead, they frequently do the opposite. They steer patients toward pricier drugs, charge steep markups on what would otherwise be inexpensive medicines, and extract billions of dollars in hidden fees, a New York Times investigation found.

Read more: The Opaque Industry Secretly Inflating Prices for Prescription Drugs

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