Hamsters on the wheel

Hamsters on the wheel

Not unexpectedly the news flow from our annual wacky dance has begun and the first round belongs to the toy makers. So, let’s not waste any time and get right too it-

Yesterday Bigfoot Biomedical announced they had acquired the Timesulin® insulin pen time cap. Per a company issued press release;

“Bigfoot Biomedical, Inc., a new kind of medical device company harnessing the power of machine learning to automatically and continuously optimize insulin delivery for people with insulin-requiring diabetes, today announced that it has acquired London-based biotech company Patients Pending, LTD, makers of the Timesulin® insulin pen timer cap, and its Bluetooth-enabled insulin pen dose capture technology.”

We have long contended that the biggest threat to the future of the insulin pump market is an interconnected insulin pen combined with a CGM combined with an insulin dosing app. Our contention is that such a system could produce pump like outcomes at a much cheaper cost than a pump which continue to get even more expensive. Frankly payers would like nothing better than such a system now that cost of sensor augmented pumps are approaching $10,000.

Should Bigfoot do a follow-on deal with the folks at Dexcom (NASDAQ: DXCM) and integrate the new slap it on turn it on Band Aid sensor into the mix, they could be the first company to have such a system. Keep mind that Bigfoot isn’t the only company working on such a system, far from it. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again this is all about money and there is no question a pen/CGM/App system would be much cheaper than a pump.

Speaking of pumps Insulet (NASDAQ: PODD) and Ascensia (think it’s time we stop calling them Bayer) announced a collaboration, per a press release;

“Ascensia Diabetes Care today announced it has entered into a strategic alliance by signing a development agreement with Insulet Corporation (NASDAQ: PODD), the leader in tubeless insulin pump technology with its Omnipod® Insulin Management System (the Omnipod System). Under the terms of this agreement, the Ascensia CONTOUR®NEXT ONE blood glucose monitoring system (BGMS) will connect to Insulet’s next-generation Omnipod System (the Omnipod DashTM System), which is currently in development.”

While this is nice it is also meaningless. What Insulet needs is to integrate the Dexcom CGM into the Dash so they can finally have a sensor augmented OmniPod.

But Ascensia didn’t stop with the Insulet deal they also announced another collaboration, per a press release;

“Ascensia Diabetes Care and Voluntis today announced a global technology partnership designed to help improve the lives of people with Type 2 diabetes by optimizing insulin management. This collaboration will connect the Voluntis basal insulin management solution for people with Type 2 diabetes, the Insulia® Diabetes Management Companion, with the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE and CONTOUR®PLUS ONE blood glucose monitoring systems (BGMS) from Ascensia.”

Like the Insulet deal it’s very nice but also very meaningless. Frankly you can’t swing a dead cat these days without hitting a company that isn’t working on insulin dosing solutions for patients with Type 2 diabetes. But hey we’ve stopped calling them Bayer so that’s something.

In the hey thanks for telling us what we already know department our friends at Dexcom released more data from the DIaMonD study which concluded… wait for it … CGM works, imagine that. Now we don’t want to make light of the results but seriously unless you’ve been alone on an island in the South Pacific for the past few years everyone knows CGM works. Everyone also knows that Dexcom has the best CGM on the planet combined with the most talented management team in diabetes.

That as Momma Kliff likes to say is not the issue. The issue is what it always is -GETTING THE PATIENT TO USE THE DAMN THING.

Looking over these deal and announcements, and we guarantee there will be more of them this week we are reminded of those poor hamsters on the wheel to nowhere. We hate to be snarky but this isn’t about all the way cool whiz bang toys patients are supposed to play with. This is about getting patients to play with the damn toys. This is about money, who makes it and who saves it. It would be nice to believe it’s about better patient outcomes but that just isn’t the case.

It’s about time people begin to realize that these companies do not make money from improving patient outcomes. No, these companies make money by making it cheaper to manage patients with diabetes, this is what payers care about and payers are the people that matter as they pay for all these way cool whiz bang toys.