This morning we came across an article in US News and World Report entitled “Patch Pump Device Could Offer Cheaper Insulin Delivery”. The article states;
“The study found that combining a wearable, patch-like insulin delivery device (called the V-Go) and an older, cheaper insulin could safely help people with type 2 diabetes achieve good blood sugar control.”
Now we really hate to inform the good folk at US News but Valeritas the makers of the V-Go basically went out of business with their assets acquired by Zealand Pharma. Per a press release issued today;
“Zealand Pharma A/S (“Zealand” or the “Company”) (ZEAL.CO) (CVR-no. 20045078), a Copenhagen-based biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of innovative peptide-based medicines, announces that the acquisition of substantially all assets of Valeritas Holdings, Inc. (VLRX) has been completed for the cash purchase price of $23 million and the assumption of certain liabilities related to the ongoing business, pursuant to the terms of the stalking horse asset purchase agreement previously entered into with Valeritas and following approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on March 20, 2020.”
However given the current status of Senseonics another diabetes device maker facing bankruptcy perhaps Zealand wants to buy Senseonics and then combine its way cool whiz bang toy with the way cool whiz bang V-Go. Heck why stop there as we’re pretty sure the folks at Bigfoot, even though they are not facing bankruptcy, well not yet anyway, would be delighted to get acquired by Zealand. Heck as long as we’re playing matchmaker lets show a little love for our new friends at Nemaura and have Zealand buy them as well.
Listen since most of these companies aren’t worth all that much Zealand could likely acquire them for a song. Once acquired Zealand can then proceed to combine all these way cool whiz bang toys into a complete diabetes management system which of course would come with coaching and connectivity to the cloud. Of course it goes without saying they would then strike a deal with Livongo to provide the coaching aspect of their way cool whiz-bang interconnected diabetes management system.
This may sound far-fetched, but we see a method to this madness as Zealand could then approach Sanofi about the possibility of Sanofi buying the company and using it as their reentry into diabetes. Heck Sanofi has insulin that can used with the V-Go and can add Bigfoots connected cap covers to their stable other connected insulin pens or insulin pen cap covers.
Should Sanofi shy away no worries as we’re pretty certain there are other fools who would happily jump at the chance to own the coolest toys in the toy chest. Heck if someone really wanted to be bold, they could not just acquire Zealand, of course after Zealand has done their acquiring, they could go after a much bigger fish and buy the diabetes franchise from Medtronic, another company that would be thrilled, more like over-joyed to get paid to dump this dog of a unit.
Think about this for just a moment this new company would have a dumb patch pump, a real insulin pump, multiple versions of Tyler, multiple CGM systems and of course coaching. This just might bring Sanofi back to the table for if there is one thing we know based on their long and distinguished history in diabetes they love to blow billions on such things. Just ask the smart folks at Verily who laughed all the way to the bank when Sanofi ponied up $250 million for their stake in Onduo.
Now to anyone who thinks all this is slightly crazy remember these very real and very pesky facts;
1. Roche acquired what was then the number two player in the insulin pump world, Disetronic for over a billion bucks and then ran it into the ground.
2. Abbott acquired Medisense ran it into the ground then doubled down acquiring Therasense and ran them into the ground as well.
3. Medtronic bought MiniMed and while it’s taken longer than anticipated is now running this once great company into the ground.
4. We should also mention that at one time Medtronic could have acquired Dexcom but passed, and no this not an April Fool’s joke.
5. More recently JNJ made the brilliant decision to shut down Animas and then giving the Animas patient base to Medtronic who in turn took this gift and ran it into the ground.
6. Or what Abbott’s recent investment into the previously mentioned Bigfoot even though they have signed other deals which will combine the Libre and maybe one day the Libre2 if it ever gets here with other connected insulin delivery systems.
7. This is the same Abbott which back in the day also wanted to acquire MiniMed and another now defunct insulin pump maker Deltec, which was basically put out of business for infringing on Medtronic’s IP.
8. What about Apple, yes Apple throwing millions at building a non-invasive CGM which was based on the technology that GE, yes GE invested $8 million in which got flushed down the toilet because it didn’t work, imagine that.
We could go on as our wacky world is filled with deals such as those mentioned above. Hence the reason we always say it’s easier to steal money with a good PowerPoint presentation than it is with a gun and a hell of a lot safer. Yes BILLIONS have spent, executives have made MILLIONS and still nearly two-thirds of all patients are NOT achieving good control. Which of course proves once again that that there is no cure for stupid.
One just think that these companies and the folk that invest in them would have learned their lesson by now. That they would realize it’s not about the toys in the toy chest or the drugs in the medicine cabinet. That it’s all about getting patients to use the toys and take the drugs as prescribed. That all these coaching platforms are very good at telling the patient HOW to manage their diabetes but fail because try as they might they cannot MAKE them want to manage their diabetes.
Diabetes management is not the complex problem all these companies make it out to be. We have some of the best tools and drugs ever. Information, FREE information is readily available to any patient with a smartphone, tablet or PC. There are a plethora of apps and web sites which offer great information. This has never been and never will be about helping the patient with how they should be managing their diabetes. This as we say frequently is the easy part.
The hard part, the part no one focuses on is getting the patient to do all the heavy lifting required to achieve better outcomes. Folks this isn’t about way cool whiz bang never will be. This is all about motivating patients to become engaged with their diabetes management. No toy, no drug, no coaching platform can change that fact.