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Collaboration Makes the Diabetes World Go 'Round

Medtronic and Abbott each announced separate collaboration agreements this week that demonstrate the importance of medical device companies and pharmaceutical companies working together to improve diabetes management. Medtronic is working with Novo Nordisk while Abbott is working with Sanofi.

In the world of diabetes technologies, collaboration is the name of the game.

Medtronic and Novo Nordisk are working together to integrate insulin dosing data from future Novo Nordisk smart insulin pens into continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices from Medtronic, such as the Guardian Connect system shown above. At the same time, Abbott and Sanofi will be working on tools that combine Abbott's FreeStyle Libre technology with Sanofi's insulin dosing information.

"We see incredible power in combining a variety of data points to drive insights that help people living with diabetes make more informed decisions around managing their glucose levels," said Alejandro Galindo, president of the advanced insulin management division within the diabetes group at Medtronic. "Our new agreement with Novo Nordisk, the world’s largest producer of insulin, will streamline the sharing of two of the most important pieces of information – glucose measurements and insulin dosed. With this, Medtronic can further enhance our market-leading analytics and insights to help ease the burden of diabetes."

By integrating glucose monitoring and insulin dosing data, people with diabetes and their healthcare professionals and caregivers will be able to automatically track these two important items in a single place, giving people living with diabetes one less thing to think about in the daily management of their condition. Further, being able to view both glucose and insulin data together can facilitate more productive conversations between people and their doctors, enabling more informed decisions on how to better manage glucose levels and increase time in range, the percentage of time people with diabetes spend in the optimal glycaemic range of 70-180 mg/dL.

Novo Nordisk is certainly no stranger to collaborations in the diabetes sector.Last year Novo Nordisk teamed up with Beta Bionics on a clinical trial to test Novo Nordisk’s insulin called Fiasp with Beta Bionics' iLet bionic pancreas system in adults with type 1 diabetes, and insulin lispro and conventional insulin aspart using the iLet in adults and children with type 1 diabetes.

Novo Nordisk expects to launch its durable smart insulin pens, NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo Plus, as well as its disposable, pre-filled injection solution starting in 2020. Once available, smart insulin pens will be compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The Guardian Connect system will be updated as well to integrate data from these Novo Nordisk smart pens.

"Millions of people living with diabetes work to control their sugar levels and track their insulin injections every day. To help ease the hassle of diabetes management, we are excited to be partnering with Medtronic, the largest medical device company in the world,” said Camilla Sylvest, executive vice president of commercial strategy and corporate affairs at Bagsværd, Denmark-based Novo Nordisk. “We now collaborate with all major CGM device producers, which means we can bring the benefits of smart insulin pens to even more people.”

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