If at first you don’t succeed…..
According to an article that appeared on Physorg.com;
“A team of researchers in chemistry, pharmaceutics, and engineering is
developing a long term implantable biosensor that could
dramatically change the way of life for millions of people diagnosed with diabetes.
Inside the laboratories of Board of Trustees
distinguished professor of pharmaceutics Diane Burgess, chemistry professor
Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos, and engineering professor Faquir Jain, teams of
graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are helping develop a miniaturized
wireless device that will monitor blood glucose levels for three months or more
after being inserted under a patient’s skin.
Prototypes of the device are smaller than a grain of rice yet
embedded with an array of highly sensitive, microscopic electronic chips,
sensors, and transmitters.
The device would be injected into a diabetic patient
subcutaneously using a hypodermic needle. Patients would then wear a special
watch-like monitor that would receive transmissions from the sensor so they
could track their blood sugar level throughout the day.”
If all this sounds just slightly familiar it should as there have
been numerous unsuccessful efforts to develop an implantable glucose sensor.
This news comes just a day after we learned that Echo Therapeutics (OTC
Bulletin Board: ECTE) raised $3 million in a private stock sale. According to a
press release the company is “developing its needle-free Symphony(TM) tCGM
System as a non-invasive, wireless, transdermal continuous glucose monitoring
(tCGM) system and the Prelude(TM) SkinPrep System for transdermal drug delivery”
If the news around Echo also sounds familiar that’s because Echo was
once known as Sontra Medical a company Diabetic Investor wrote about long ago.
As has become the custom with companies that have tried and failed, they
reinvent themselves, come up with a new name and try and pawn themselves off as
something new. Realizing there are investors dumb enough not to do their due
diligence the reinvented companies raise even more money from investors who are
sucked into the company believing that a non-invasive glucose monitor is the
road to riches.
Never mind that no one has even come close to developing and
marketing a non-invasive monitor or that landscaped is littered with the
wreckage of companies who have tried and failed. Nor does it seem to matter
that investors have literally lost hundreds of millions of dollars based on a dream
that just won’t die.
Diabetic Investor has little sympathy for the investors stupid enough
to make these investments nor will we chastise companies for taking the money,
one has to wonder just what would happen if someone actually succeeded in
developing a truly non-invasive glucose monitor; would it actually change
anything. Would non-insulin using patients who are the less frequent glucose
testers all of a sudden start monitoring their glucose because they did not
have to draw a blood sample? Would insulin users, who actually need this information,
switch from a conventional glucose monitor or one of the continuous glucose
monitors already on the market, to such a system?
Do any of the investors bother to ask companies just who they plan
to market and support the product should by some stroke of luck they actually
make it all the way through the FDA? Or do they drink the kool-aid the company
offers when with a wink and nod the companies talk about possible partnerships?
The non-invasive industry reminds Diabetic Investor of the Wild
West when Snake Oil salesman would roll into unsuspecting towns claiming to
have products the cured the common cold or offered eternal life. Once they had
bilked the town dry of money, they moved on to the next unsuspecting town and
started the process all over again. The few that we’re discovered for the
frauds they were, where either hanged or received the tar and feather treatment
they richly deserved.
Unlike the Wild West when information moved by Pony Express, today
we have something called the internet making it much easier to do basic due
diligence. Anyone who types the words non-invasive glucose monitoring into
Google will find a lengthy list of articles that all say basically the same
thing; that absolutely no one has succeed, many have tired and millions have
been lost in the quest. Yet investors continue to pour money into these
projects, which proves to Diabetic Investor that you can’t cure stupidity.