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Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Catches Sanofi’s Eye in New Collaboration

Paris-based Sanofi will work with Abbott Laboratories to integrate glucose sensing and insulin delivery technologies to help improve diabetes management in patients. Abbott’s Freestyle Libre – a device that brought in $430 million in revenue for 2Q19, will be at the heart of the collaboration.

Two powerhouses in pharma and medtech are working together to help people with diabetes better manage their condition. Abbott Laboratories and Sanofi will collaborate to integrate glucose sensing and insulin delivery technologies.

The two companies will take an innovative approach to connected care by developing tools that combine the Abbott Park, Il-based company’s FreeStyle Libre technology with Paris-based Sanofi′s insulin dosing information.

Initially, the collaboration enables data sharing, at the consent of the user, between Abbott′s FreeStyle Libre mobile app and cloud software and Sanofi′s connected insulin pens, apps, and cloud software that are currently in development. This data sharing will enable both people with diabetes and their doctors to make better-informed treatment decisions around medication, nutrition, and lifestyle.

"Sanofi and Abbott aim to provide this to people with diabetes within the next few years, pending local in-country regulatory approvals," Abbott told MD+DI in an email. "We will share details on launch and timing in the future closer to the launch dates."

The Freestyle Libre, which received approval by FDA in 2017, has been a massive success. Abbott recorded sales of $430 million for Libre in 2Q19 analysts expect it to approach $2 billion for the year, based on consensus, according to Matthew Taylor, an analyst for UBS. The Freestyle Libre is a game-changing device because the diabetes monitoring system eliminates routine finger sticks, which have been the standard of glucose tests for more than 40 years.

"As the global leader in continuous glucose monitoring, we see a significant opportunity to impact the health of millions of people living with diabetes by developing new tools and connectivity with Sanofi, a leader in the insulin space," Jared Watkin, senior VP, Diabetes Care, Abbott, said in a release. "Diabetes can be overwhelming as it is an information-rich condition with various streams of data from multiple devices. Building a digital ecosystem around FreeStyle Libre simplifies the user experience by consolidating how people get their data – both through offering Abbott′s digital health tools and by working with other diabetes and technology leaders."

Sanofi’s Medtech Collaborations in Diabetes

Even though Sanofi is considered a big player in pharma, the company has crossed the aisle on more than one occasion to work with medtech. Last year Sanofi was part of a “dream team” collaboration with Sensile and Verily Life Sciences. The trio was formed with the purpose of developing and commercializing a new generation of “all-in-one” pre-filled insulin patch pumps, primarily to serve people living with type 2 diabetes.

But Sanofi’s collaboration with Verily three years go might arguably be one of the most significant partnerships in the diabetes management space. The two formed the joint venture called Onduo, a Cambridge, MA-based charged with developing comprehensive solutions that combine devices, software, medicine, and professional care to enable simple and intelligent diabetes disease management.

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