The Cone of Silence

Today we’re going way back in the wave back machine referencing a very funny TV show Get Smart. Now for the millennials out there we highly recommend getting on YouTube or whatever streaming service you have and watching a few of what are truly hilarious episodes. One of the funniest scenes came when Max and the Chief went into the cone of silence and then in Get Smart fashion couldn’t hear what the other was saying.

We thought about the cone as the FDA has yet to approve the Libre2. After being very vocal about the Libre2 Abbott recently has been less enthusiastic about when approval will come. At one time the company was giving the impression that this approval was a slam dunk. Yet for reasons no one seem to know approval is taking much longer than anticipated. Our gut tells us that, excuse the expression the sticking point is getting the iCGM designation.

Now from the start we have noted that while it would nice to get this designation, with or without it, Abbott’s strategy with Libre would not change. Abbott has made it crystal clear they are committed to a value strategy with Libre and we don’t see that changing when the Libre2 gets approved. Still it is somewhat unsettling that this approval which was supposed to be a layup has turned into a half court three pointer.

Speaking of the cone one of Abbott’s partners has entered the cone as well as Bigfoot has gone from being very vocal to radio silence. All of a sudden BigMouth has become closed mouth. This is very strange for many reasons not the least of which being that next to digital diabetes the hottest thing going in diabetes tech land is Tyler. Yep you can’t swing that poor dead cat without hitting a Tyler and back in the day Bigfoot claimed their version of Tyler was the best thing since sliced bread or soft soap.

Based on what we know Bigfoot is not just losing key people but is having a very hard time finding fresh capital. Frankly we aren’t that surprised on either front given how the Tyler market is developing. As we noted yesterday all the insulin companies have a Tyler under development plus it would not surprise us if Dexcom who has a relationship with Companion came out with a Tyler. Plus it doesn’t help any when your partner is making deals with other Tyler companies so that the Libre talks to other connected pens or cap covers.

At one time it looked as if Abbott along with Bigfoot would enter the Tyler market together. However with the Libre2 stalled at the FDA and Bigfoot floundering this once happy marriage seems headed for divorce court. Quite frankly Abbott does not need Bigfoot, but Bigfoot desperately needs Abbott. Yet as so often happens when a marriage is coming to an end, Abbott is moving on finding new partners while Bigfoot remains hopefully, they can somehow get back together.

The fact that both have entered the cone of silence tells speaks volumes. Now we suspect Abbott will be just fine and that eventually the Libre2 will gain FDA approval. Will it get the iCGM designation is another story.  But one way or another it will get here. We cannot say the same for Bigfoot as without a capital infusion the company appears destine to fad away.