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Novo Nordisk to launch connected insulin pens

Also partners with Dexcom, Glooko and Roche on digital platforms

Novo Nordisk

Many diabetes patients have been calling for ‘smart’, internet-connected pens to monitor their condition, but the technology has been slow to arrive.

Now, Novo Nordisk has announced that it will globally launch two ‘connected’ insulin pens, which will be able to communicate with continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems and blood glucose meters (BGM).

This looks to be the start of the long-awaited digital integration, which has been held back by safety concerns, competitive interests and incompatible digital platforms.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest competitors in diabetes injectables are Eli Lilly and Sanofi, but looks to be ahead of its rivals in rolling out a joined-up digital solution, announcing plans to make two durable, connected insulin pens NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo Plus commercially available across key markets from early 2019.

In addition to demand from patients, healthcare payers, especially in the US, are calling for comprehensive disease management platforms.

Responding to this, Novo Nordisk has also signed new partnership agreements with leading players in digital diabetes tech: Dexcom, Glooko and Roche.

The partnerships target the advancement of solutions available for people living with diabetes and their healthcare professionals. Building upon its existing work with IBM Watson Health and Glooko, Novo Nordisk aims to seamlessly integrate insulin-dosing data from connected pen devices with its partners' open ecosystems and diabetes management solutions.

"Our non-exclusive partnership strategy allows us to integrate with the various digital platforms that people are already using to help manage their diabetes," said Camilla Sylvest, executive vice president of Commercial Strategy & Corporate Affairs at Novo Nordisk. "We firmly believe that this will help more people realise the full benefit of our innovative medicines and begin to ease the mental burden of diabetes treatment for those individuals."

"After receiving caregiver feedback, we knew a global roll-out was the right thing to do," said Camilla Sylvest, referring to a 2017-18 Swedish pilot in collaboration with Glooko. "During the pilot, healthcare providers noted that patient dialogues improved without having to invest additional time."

Global Head of Roche Diabetes Care Marcel Gmuender added that, "synching Novo Nordisk insulin data with our digital diabetes management solutions like mySugr and Accu-Chek Smart Pix will allow us to enhance quality of care and help create more sustainable healthcare systems".

Novo Nordisk will also integrate insulin-dosing data with Dexcom CGM data in the coming years. "We believe that a fully connected ecosystem represents a significant opportunity to improve the lives of people on multiple daily injections," said Steve Pacelli, executive vice president of Strategy & Corporate Development at Dexcom.

"We are pleased to extend our collaboration with Novo Nordisk," said Russ Johannesson, CEO at Glooko. "We are excited about evolving our integrated solutions and look forward to helping more people manage their diabetes via the Glooko platform."

Meanwhile, rival Eli Lilly is developing its own Connected Diabetes Ecosystem.

This involves a trial of an automated insulin delivery system combining a connected insulin pump, a dosing algorithm and Dexcom‘s continuous glucose monitor.

It is also working on a connected insulin pen with glucose-sensing tech and software to create personalised insulin dose recommendations.

Article by
Andrew McConaghie

1st October 2018

From: Research, Sales

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