- Medtronic announced Monday Germany's statutory health insurance system agreed to provide reimbursement for the MiniMed 670G hybrid closed loop insulin pump system for individuals with type 1 diabetes.
- The ongoing launch of the 670G system drove revenue growth of 15.3% in international markets for the company's diabetes business in the first quarter ended July 26, the device maker reported last month.
- Medtronic said it expects the reimbursement approval in Germany to boost adoption of the technology. About 30,500 Germans under the age of 19 have type 1 diabetes.
The 670G is the first FDA-approved hybrid closed loop system that monitors glucose and automatically adjusts the delivery of insulin based on the user's glucose reading. Medtronic, which launched the system in the United States in June 2017, is now counting on strong consumer demand for the device internationally to maintain momentum in its diabetes business where U.S. growth has slowed.
The hybrid closed loop system consists of a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), an insulin pump that delivers insulin to the user, and a glucose meter used to calibrate the CGM. The device is able to decrease or stop insulin delivery when it detects the user's glucose is low or increase the insulin delivery when the system detects glucose levels are high.
The rollout of the MiniMed 670G helped fuel a 33% surge in Medtronic's U.S. diabetes business in the first quarter of last year, but in August the company said the U.S. unit had registered a mid-single-digit decline in revenue in the latest quarter. Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak, on the company's earnings call, attributed the decline to the difficult year-over-year comparison, but also cited "competitive challenges" as a factor.
Medtronic's competitors in diabetes devices include Abbott and Dexcom in continuous glucose monitors and Tandem and Insulet in insulin pumps. Analysts at Cowen in a research report last month forecast a sharp rise in use of CGMs over the next five years as well as steadily increasing growth in insulin pump use. While Medtronic is expected to remain the leader in insulin pumps, the Cowen analysts said they expect Tandem and Insulet to take significant market share.
Medtronic's 670G system remains the only approved hybrid closed loop system. However, William Blair analysts in a report last week said they expect Tandem's Control-IQ device to launch this year.
Medtronic last month said about 200,000 people globally are using the 670G system.