NEW YORK, N.Y., June 1, 2012 -- JDRF in collaboration with the Helmsley Charitable Trust (HCT) announced today a partnership with Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), a leader in artificial pancreas research and development. The JDRF-HCT Sensor Initiative aims to advance continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) accuracy and reliability towards the next generation artificial pancreas systems.
The goal of the partnership is to accelerate the development of Medtronic's novel redundant sensor system which combines two unique sensing technologies in one device. This major technological advance was awarded funding support from the JDRF-Helmsley Charitable Trust collaboration's Sensor Initiative. The JDRF-HCT Sensor Initiative was launched to accelerate the development and delivery of more accurate and reliable continuous glucose sensors. Continuous glucose sensors hold the potential to drive towards the development of future artificial pancreas systems for people with diabetes. Today's CGM devices have significantly helped improve glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes. Next generation sensors will provide improved accuracy and reliability, which will allow for more aggressive insulin management and support towards the development of automated artificial pancreas systems.
"Accurate and reliable sensor technology has long been identified as a necessity for the realization of an artificial pancreas. Medtronic's development of an orthogonally redundant sensor system will greatly accelerate this path," said Jeffrey Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of JDRF. "We are excited to bring our long-standing partnership with Medtronic to a new level through this Sensor Initiative, which could improve the outcomes of people with diabetes."
"The Helmsley Charitable Trust is committed to easing the burden and improving the quality of life of those living with type 1 diabetes; this collaboration provides the opportunity to accelerate the development of more accurate, effective tools to support day-to-day insulin management, which would accomplish both of our objectives," said David Panzirer, Trustee, Helmsley Charitable Trust.
The orthogonally redundant sensor system will combine an electrochemical sensor - scientifically referred to as a glucose oxidase (GOX) sensor and the commonly used technology in CGM systems - with an optical sensor, to provide accurate, glucose values. By combining two distinctive measurement technologies, the two sensors function as a "check and balance" to enable true redundancy to ensure safe and reliable glucose measurements for an artificial pancreas system.
"Today marks another great milestone in our partnership with the JDRF in collaboration with the Helmsley Charitable Trust to advance CGM technology for the artificial pancreas, which began several years ago with the JDRF CGM studies and continues through multiple artificial pancreas studies today," said Katie Szyman, President of the Diabetes business of Medtronic. "We are also excited to unveil the optical based glucose sensing technology we acquired several years ago. Advancing sensor accuracy and reliability is core to both organizations' missions to enable people with diabetes to live longer, healthier lives."
CGM devices provide both a real-time snapshot of the glucose level of a person with diabetes, as well as trend information on whether glucose is moving upwards or downwards, and how fast. The devices also provide warnings when the glucose is becoming too high or too low. JDRF's landmark CGM trials have shown that using CGM can significantly improve diabetes control and decrease the frequency of high and low blood sugars when used regularly. Today, these sensors are being used as part of artificial pancreas systems, ones that will reduce the amount of high and low blood sugar people with diabetes experience by automating insulin delivery some of the time. In the future, artificial pancreas systems that restore non-diabetes like glucose levels and are automated most of the time will require advanced sensors with increased accuracy and error detection capabilities. Medtronic has been a pioneer in artificial pancreas systems and developed the first closed loop product, Paradigm Veo, that automatically suspends insulin delivery if the sensor glucose value is equal to or below the low threshold value. This system is commercially available outside of the United States and Medtronic is conducting a pivotal trial to obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
I don't like this since it takes away money from a proper biological solution for which we need fundamental research. Poor sensors are only 1/2 of the problem of an artificial pancreas. The other half is huge time lag which make mush out of an automatic feedback control loop. It is like driving a car with a five second delay between turning the steering wheel and the car turning. This would not give you spectacular performance.
Yeah, Anthony, I'm with you. I have serious concerns about the whole AP project. Don't get me wrong, if it works as advertised, it could definitely be a step forward, but it's a pretty small step forward IMO. From what I understand and have read, the AP will still require the user to test BGs and do all the things we pump/CGM users currently do (changing infusion sites, dealing with failed sites, changing CGM sensors, dealing with failed sensors). If I have an AP and my sensor fails and I'm without extras or can't do a site change at the moment, I'm right back to monitoring and adjusting manually. The more I learn about the AP project, the less I see it as a significant step forward.
My other concern is the money being thrown at this. There are still many T1s HERE IN THE U.S. who aren't able to benefit from the current pumps and CGMs because they can't afford them. I think it's atrocious that we're throwing money towards a non-biological cure when there are so many folks who can't access the advances we have NOW. Yeah, living with T1D can be a mind-boggling and frustrating thing, but I know how much I and others have benefited from the current pumps and CGMs. Why isn't more being done to ensure that ALL T1s can access these technologies?
Heck, forget pumps and CGMs = there are still folks who have to rely on R and NPH insulin because the modern analogue insulins are too expensive. Why isn't something being done about this? If JDRF has all this money to put towards the AP project, they should be able to set up a fund that ensures T1s TODAY have guaranteed access to modern insulins and modern devices that exist NOW. I feel like the AP project is just creating another cool device that offers marginal benefits and will be financially out of reach of even more people.
Dear Busted pancreas. I was watching Charlie Rose and the person being interviewed said your view (compassion) would be correct for a liberal. But a religious conservative protestant work ethic is that diabetics should have enough money to take care of themselves. America confuses me did Christ not say: " Am I not my brother's keeper ?" Makes me wonder did he say something like that? and what does it mean ?
Health care in Canada is a state thing so frills like pumps and lantus or levemir subsidies are dependent of where you live. Ours the Richest Province by far gives nothing and would like to destroy what universal health care we have.
Can we not walk and chew gum at the same time?
Maybe chew and walk. But fundamental research, compassion and the artificial pancreas all at once for one organisation is too much.
Katie Szyman, President of the Diabetes business of Medtronic. "We are also excited to unveil the optical based glucose sensing technology we acquired several years ago.
A giant as Medtronic acquired a technology and after "several" years needs money from a foundation to "get excited about seeing it done" ?
Something isn't right here ....