In the hardly shocking department it looks as though another Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) diabetes partnership is on the fritz. This time it’s Zealand Pharma who’s not a happy camper. Zealand partnered with Sanofi on Soliqua and not shocking sales have been less than impressive. So, Zealand has decided for their next drug they will go it alone.
Now we don’t want to say we told you so. No, we don’t want to say that signing a diabetes partnership with Sanofi is one of the dumbest moves a company can make. Or that every diabetes partnership with Sanofi has been an unmitigated disaster but the facts speak for themselves. Makes you wonder how Verily feels right about now as they have partnered with Sanofi to create Onduo which might have to be renamed as Undone.
In the ho hum department Arkray has partnered with Mellitus Health, formerly known as Insulin Algorithms to integrate Insulin Insights into its suite of diabetes products. Now we don’t want to say this is just another insulin dosing algorithm, but it is. We don’t want to say that this won’t make a damn bit of difference, but it won’t. Listen we have no idea how many of these things exist but as we keep saying this isn’t about the damn toys but getting patients to play with the toys.
Speaking of toys shares in Nemaura Medical (NASDAQ: NMRD) jumped yesterday after the company touted positive data from the European clinical trial program for its non-invasive sugarBeat glucose monitoring system. Yes, Nemaura believes they have built a better mousetrap, they haven’t and will likely use this data to extort more money from investors.
See that’s the way this game is played. Now never mind that Nemaura even if they can get this toy approved in the US faces an uphill battle in the growing yet crowded CGM space. Nope no one seems to care that making the damn thing isn’t the hard part. The hard part is selling it, supporting it and getting it reimbursed. No, the reality is and Nemaura is counting on this, that some fool will come along and buy the company. And listen we can’t blame them at all as one thing that’s a constant in our wacky world is there are plenty of fools.
In few days we’ll be headed to Vienna for the 11th International Conference on Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes or ATTD. As the name implies there is sure to be lots of way cool whiz bang cloud enabled toys on display. There is sure to be lots of pontificating about the benefits of interconnected diabetes management. As per usual there is list of very distinguished speakers speaking on a wide range of topics. And of course, there will be lots of speculation as to who is buying whom. Yes, this is what diabetes conferences are all about.
It would be nice just once if someone stood up and asked any of these toys makers how they planned on running a toy business. We’d pay good money to have someone ask any of the many companies entering the insulin pump market how they plan to compete and win against Medtronic (NYSE: MDT). We’d pay even more money if any of these companies said something other than we have a better toy. Actually, we’d probably faint first.
We’d buy a round of drinks for anyone who asks any of the CGM companies how they too are going to compete with Dexcom (NASDAQ: DXCM) or Abbott (NYSE: ABT). We’d likely fall off our bar stool if any of them said they had a business strategy other than being as accurate as the Dexcom sensor.
Now don’t get us wrong we love these conferences. We love talking diabetes with all the experts and yes, we do learn something new all the time. Unfortunately, having attended too many conferences too count one thing we haven’t seen is people in the business learning. We continue to see companies and investors make the same mistakes. What we have yet to see and hope to see but aren’t optimistic that we’ll see it is patients getting better. That all this money and pontificating benefits the patient.
Don’t get us wrong over the years we have seen many advancements that have benefited patients. Unfortunately, far too many patients are still struggling with their diabetes management. Far too many don’t play with the toys that are supposed to make their lives easier. Far too many do not have access to or cannot afford these way cool whiz bang toys. The reality is even with all these advancements the person who’s supposed to benefiting, the patient with diabetes, isn’t benefiting.