Abbott and Novo Nordisk plan to link diabetes devices
- Digital platforms used with Abbott's continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system will soon be able to receive dosing data from a line of forthcoming Novo Nordisk insulin pens, the companies announced Wednesday.
- The NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo Plus, the first pre-filled, reusable, connected pens from the Danish pharma, are set to launch in certain markets sometime in the first quarter of 2019, and will be able to share insulin dosing data with Abbott's FreeStyle Libre's mobile app and cloud-based system.
- Abbott is just the latest announced diabetes management data-sharing partner with Novo, with direct competitor Dexcom also set to integrate its products with the pens, among other companies.
FreeStyle Libre has produced healthy returns for Abbott since its FDA approval in September 2017, with worldwide sales of the device driving more than 28% growth in the company's diabetes unit in the last quarter of 2018. On a January call with investors, company officials said approximately 1.3 million people worldwide are now using the device, about two-thirds of whom are Type 1 diabetics.
Abbott plans to incorporate data from the Novo Nordisk pens with its LibreLink mobile app, cleared by FDA in late 2018, and LibreView cloud-based system. Abbott says automatically sending dosing data to a digital tracking platform will save users the hassle of logging insulin intake. While insulin delivery via pump is a popular choice, the partnership could capture a slice of the population of diabetics who use insulin pens.
But the partnership is by no means exclusive, as Dexcom said in October it would enable integration of the Novo Nordisk data with its G6 CGM, a FreeStyle Libre competitor. Similarly, Roche said it would tie the data to its mySugr app and Accu-Check Smart Pix device reader, and Glooko said this week the data can be shared with its diasend digital monitoring platform.
"Lack of reliable information is a cause of huge frustration for many people with diabetes and their doctors," said Anders Dyhr Toft, corporate vice president of commercial innovation at Novo Nordisk said in a press release. "Our connected pens will give healthcare professionals a better understanding of a patient's individual diabetes management and can help people with diabetes feel more confident in their treatment."
The companies said they're looking to make the connection available "as soon as possible." Novo Nordisk said it ultimately plans to market the pens in more than 50 countries.
Abbott has had another insulin delivery partnership in the works since 2017 with potential market disruptor Bigfoot Biomedical, which plans to launch highly-anticipated pump and pen products in 2020.