J&J's Animas launches a new combination insulin pump in Canada

Following a lengthy waiting period for FDA approval, Animas--Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) diabetes division--launched its newest combination insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring device in Canada.

The Animas Vibe insulin pump--Courtesy Animas
The Animas Vibe insulin pump--Courtesy of Animas

The Animas Vibe will be used to monitor blood sugar levels in individuals with Type 1 diabetes. The device's continuous glucose monitoring incorporates San Diego-based DexCom's ($DXCM) G4 sensor technology to track change in glucose levels. A high-contrast screen with color-coded trend lines and arrows indicates the rate and direction of glucose change. Pump users can then use the information to make insulin adjustments as needed.

The device will enter into a saturated market: During the past year, companies like Medtronic ($MDT) have launched insulin pumps that monitor blood glucose levels. Animas filed an application for FDA approval for its Animas Vibe device in April 2013, and Medtronic went through the FDA process for its own insulin pump around the same time.

While the pump represents a new standard in Type 1 diabetes treatment, Animas and other research units are setting their sights higher: The companies are competing to develop an artificial pancreas that will continuously monitor blood sugar and deliver insulin as needed. Animas took an early lead with its Hypoglycemia-Hyperglycemia Minimizer System (HHM), a device that mimics the function of a healthy pancreas. Second phase clinical trials yielded positive results, moving the device one step closer to approval.

The company will conduct further feasibility studies before pushing the system into the pivotal stage, Animas R&D director Ramakrishna Venugopalan told FierceMedicalDevices in June. Meanwhile, Animas will promote its closed loop device--and continue to vie for its position in an ever-expanding market.

- read more at Philadelphia Business Journal

Special Report: Top 5 Insulin-Delivery Techs to Watch

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Animas Vibe device was a closed-loop insulin pump, and that the system could suspend delivery when glucose reached unhealthy levels. Both statements were incorrect: The Animas Vibe pump monitors blood glucose levels, and patients use the information to determine insulin delivery. There are no closed-loop systems currently available on the market.

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