Managing diabetes care with matchstick-size implant

Managing diabetes care with matchstick-size implant

This technological development sounds really promising and should proof to be a serious relief for all those diabetes patients having to constantly test their blood sugar and take self-injections

Startup aims to upend diabetes care with matchstick-size implant

A tiny, matchstick-size pump, which could be implanted for up to a year in diabetics, is showing promise as a replacement for self-administered shots.

Intarcia Therapeutics Inc., backed by venture-capital firms including New Enterprise Associates Inc. and Venrock, developed the device. It continuously delivers a diabetes drug known as a GLP-1 receptor agonist, currently marketed as an injection.

CEO Kurt Graves is betting that by reliably delivering a full dose of the drug, the pump could help Boston-based Intarcia take market share from AstraZeneca Plc, Novo Nordisk A/S and Eli Lilly and Co.’s shots, since patients often struggle to keep up self-injections.

Indianapolis-based Lilly launched its first GLP-1 product, Trulicity, in November after it received FDA aproval in September. Analysts predict the drug could eventually bring in $700 million to as much as $1.3 billion annually in revenue.

Patients with type 2 diabetes who used the Intarcia Therapeutics pump along with standard oral drugs for 39 weeks saw their blood glucose levels and weight decline in a final-stage study presented last week at the American Diabetes Association’s annual conference.

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