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Episode transcription below:
Hello and welcome to Diabetes Connections In the News! I’m Stacey Simms and these are the top diabetes stories and headlines of the past seven days. As always, I’m going to link up my sources in the Facebook comments – where we are live – we are also Live on YouTube and in the show notes at d-c dot com when this airs as a podcast..
In the News is brought to you by The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom, Real life stories of raising a child with diabetes. Winner of the American Book Fest Prize for best new non-fiction. Available in paperback, on Kindle or as an audio book – all at Amazon.com. You can also get a big discount right now at diabetes-connections.com – use promo code celebrate to save $4
Our top story, big news from Tandem as they lay out their product line for the next 5 years. Still waiting for FDA approval for bolus by phone.. once that comes through next up is Mobi, that’s brand name for what we’ve all been calling T-Sport until now. Then there will be an X3 pump, then Mobi goes tubeless, then a true disposable patch pump. They also mentioned some software upgrades. A lot can happen in 5 years but exciting to see it laid out. A lot more to come here, we’re working on having Tandem on the show soon.
Over at Insulet, CEO Shacey Petrovic says they no longer expect FDA approval for Omnipod 5 in 2021. After all, that’s in just a couple of weeks. She spoke at a NASDAQ investor conference and said it’s not any kind of problem, just the COVID backlog at the FDA. Petrovic says she is – quote – “eminently confident in our submission.”
More stem cell research news, this time from Viactye. University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health. showing that a tiny implant infused with stem cells can help the body produce insulin on its own. Fifteen patients living with Type 1 diabetes participated in the study, which included the insertion of a device the size of a quarter in their abdomen. Each device contained millions of lab-grown cells that were “coached” into becoming insulin producing beta cells. Six months later, the cells had started producing tiny bits of insulin. Next year the team plans to do the procedure without immunosuppression drugs. The ultimate goal to have somebody who stops taking insulin and not have to take any anti-rejection drugs. We first talked to Viactye about this in 2016 – I’ll link up that episode.
The White House continues it’s push to pass Build Back Better.. focusing a lot this week on the insulin co-pay cap. It’s passed the House and if the Senate approves.. government and private insurers have to cap the cost to the patient at $35 for a 30-day supply of insulin. Nothing in the bill for those without insurance. Btw 20 states and DC have passed similar copay limits. I did see late this afternoon on Twitter a few reps who want to change the language to include the uninsured. We shall see..
The Free Style Libre 2 App is now available for Android. Approved earlier this year, it’s now actually available for download. The Libre 2 version features optional real-time alerts for both low and high glucose levels, without the need to manually scan the sensor to trigger those alarms. You do still need to scan to see the actual number.
Dueling lawsuits from Abbot and Dexcom. Abbot filed suit last week – it’s sealed but has to do with a 2014 settlement agreement. That agreement gave the companies cross-licenses to patents related to glucose monitoring. It also included agreements lasting through March 2021 not to sue each other for patent infringement or challenge the patents' validity. We told you back in June of this year that Dexcom filed the first suit, Abbott countered the next day. This seems like an additional legal maneuver in the same case.
Another entry for the non-invasive blood sugar monitor rumor mill.. K-Watch Glucose smartwatch has a disposable part underneath that features something called “micro-points” that will measure blood glucose. The company says, “Although the wearer might feel some slight pressure, there is no breaking of the skin and therefore no pain.” Not sure those two thoughts really go together – enough pressure can be uncomfortable enough.. but we shall see. The coverage here talks about clinical trials and getting this on the market late next year. I went to the actual clinical trial recruitment site – and I’ll link that – it says the trial started in November but it also says it hasn’t started recruiting. I know I’m the dream killer with the non invasive monitoring stuff. I do believe it’ll get here I promise! But I think the coverage of most of these items Is irresponsibly based on rumors.
there’s a follow up to a fun story I broke back in 2019 – the merger of Jerry the Bear and Rufus the Bear with Diabetes. Rufus is getting a big it looks like the Rufus outside with the Jerry the Bear educational interactive stuff and the app. The price is 22-dollars! A far cry from the first version of Jerry which we gave away a few years ago and cost hundreds of dollars. This is really great and I would have absolutely bought it for Benny if it was out when he was little. How’d I break the story? I interviewed the heads of JDRF and Beyond Type 1 when they announced their alliance– and I asked what was going to happen to the bears almost as a joke. They said, nope – they told me then.. only one bear would make it.
I want to take a moment and remember Thom Scher – the CEO of Beyond Type 1 who died earlier this week. I went back and listened to that interview we did back in 2019 – the one where he and JDRF told us about Jerry and Rufus… and a lot more. It was one of many times we talked on and off the podcast. I didn’t know Thom as well as many others in the diabetes community. We only met in person a few times – first in 2018 at the Diabetes Mine conference and again in 2019 at FFL – where we talked about working together more.. sort of noodling out the possibility of bringing the podcast into the Beyond Type 1 content. Thom was a terrific interview – not afraid to go on the record and very accessible. I remember once I warned him that I had some tough questions from the community about get-insulin dot org because beyond type 1 takes money from the insulin makers. He welcomed it and answered the questions other people would have avoided. I just read that Thom was 33 when he died. So incredibly young. He believed in what he did.. he wanted to make life better for people with diabetes. And the world is little emptier without him today.
Before I let you go, a reminder that the podcast this week is with the executive team at ConvaTec – the people who make infusion sets for tubed pumps, including the new 7-day set for Medtronic. you can listen to wherever you get your podcasts or if you’re listening to this as on a podcast app, just go back an episode.
Next week it’s a first for me, I’m going to do a “favorite things” episode.
That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.