J&J rolls out wearable insulin patch data in advance of 2016 launch

Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has been sitting on its OneTouch Via patch-based insulin delivery system for a while now. It acquired the technology when it bought startup Calibra Medical in 2012, and the technology had just been cleared by the FDA.

But J&J has waited until now to launch the Calibra mealtime insulin patch. It is slated to debut the patch in limited ex-U.S. markets before year end, with a U.S. launch planned for "shortly thereafter," the company said.

"As an injection-free insulin delivery patch, OneTouch Via will help people stay on top of their treatment and also allow them to stay in those vital moments in life," said John Wilson, worldwide VP of insulin delivery at J&J's Animas, in a release. "It is our hope that once commercially available, it will eliminate the barriers many people living with diabetes face surrounding mealtime insulin and ultimately improve health outcomes." Calibra Medical is a J&J Diabetes Care company and is a collaboration between the conglomerate's insulin delivery business Animas and its glucose-monitoring focused LifeScan.

In preparation for the long-awaited launch, J&J has released the latest data for the wearable, on-demand insulin delivery system at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) conference.

The study of 44 patients with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes was of OneTouch Via patch use over 60 days instead of their bolus injection device. One-quarter of users had previously relied on syringe/vial injections, while the other three-quarters used insulin pens. More than half of study participants said they dosed with insulin more often than they would with a pen or syringe. In addition, almost all patients said they could use it to dose discreetly in public, while about 9 out of 10 said they were less worried about forgetting an insulin dose.

Most of the healthcare providers in the study preferred the OneTouch Via over both insulin pens (75%) and syringes (100%).

The OneTouch Via delivers rapid-acting, or bolus, insulin at mealtimes. Users press two buttons on the device to deliver the insulin bolus--an action that can be done even through clothing. The water-resistant patch can be worn continuously for up to three days.

"People with diabetes can often feel embarrassment or discomfort when they need to inject insulin at mealtimes or when snacking," said LifeScan CMO Dr. Brian Levy. "Because patients in the study were empowered to dose discreetly with the OneTouch Via, they felt encouraged to dose more often--and ultimately, they reported missing fewer doses and better adherence to their treatment regimen."

J&J is not alone on the bolus mealtime insulin patch front; Swiss startup CeQur nabbed a $100 million venture capital infusion last fall to market a similar product. In addition, disposable mealtime insulin pump maker Valeritas reverse-merged to go public and raised $25 million this spring after shelving an IPO aiming for $90 million.

- here is the announcement