End Game?

It looks as if our friends at Bigfoot have suffered another blow with the recent departure of their Vice President of Clinical and Medical Affairs who has moved onto greener pastures accepting a Medical Affairs and Research position at Apple. As we noted after the company went through a major staff reduction the clock has begun ticking and without a fresh infusion of desperately needed capital future operations are in serious doubt.

Rumors have been swirling regarding other departures from the executive ranks which if true point to just one thing, the end of Bigfoot. The facts are, yes, those pesky facts again Bigfoot has over promised and under delivered. These facts are underscored by Abbott’s deal with Sanofi. Abbott isn’t blind to what’s going on at Bigfoot and they aren’t waiting around for the funeral before making other deals.

Speaking of Sanofi it seems like new CEO is a lot like the old CEO as the company is trimming more staff this time in Japan. This move isn’t shocking, but it does make us wonder now that Livongo has been sinking what he wants to do about Onduo. We thought perhaps Sanofi and their Onduo partner Verily might take Onduo public given the success of the Livongo IPO. However since that time shares of Livongo have sunk damping any enthusiasm from the investment banking community for digital diabetes deals.

The reality is no one not even Sanofi or Verily is quite sure what they want to do with Onduo. Neither partner is happy yet neither wants to go through what would be a nasty and expensive divorce. There is as much pressure on Verily as there is on Sanofi as for all the deals Verily has done nothing of true substance has materialized yet. Our sources tell us that the folks in Mountain View are getting impatient with Verily and have made their displeasure with this lack of performance well known.

Had Livongo performed well after the IPO this would have been the perfect exit strategy for all concerned. However now that everyone is beginning to question the validity of the Livongo business model that option for the moment is off the table.

Going back to Abbott we’re beginning to wonder why the FDA has yet to approve the Libre2. We know the agency has asked the company for additional data but still the fact that it hasn’t been approved yet tells us something isn’t quite right. Based on what we know we see the debate coming over whether or not the Libre2 gets the coveted iCGM designation. Something the company insist is going to happen.

We remain firm in our belief that no matter what the FDA does it won’t change Abbott’s strategy with Libre, that they will continue to pursue a value strategy. Our gut also tells us that the company may have miss-stepped being so public about getting the iCGM designation. Comments they have somewhat backed off recently. However we do believe had they not gone for the iCGM designation Libre2 would have been approved already.

The FDA also appears to be taking their time approving Lilly’s connected pen. This one we really don’t understand given the simplicity of the device. Hopefully we’ll hear something on both the Libre2, and the Lilly connected pen soon.

Now for the big question- is the selling in Livongo over or was yesterday’s upward move an aberration? Honestly, we have no clue. About all we do know for certain is we have never seen anything like this which is saying something given our 20 plus years covering this wacky world of ours.