Upstart Bigfoot Biomedical snags $36M to advance 'artificial pancreas'

Bigfoot Biomedical reeled in $35.5 million in Series A funding, which it will use to push its automated insulin delivery service through the last stages of development.

The Milpitas, CA-based company is working on its smartloop service, a cloud-connected platform for diabetes management. It interacts with wearable insulin-delivery and glucose-monitoring devices, collecting data passively and personalizing therapy via a secure smartphone app, Bigfoot Biomedical said in a statement. A “machine learning engine” delivers automated decision support to patients and healthcare providers. Bigfoot plans to market it as a monthly service.

Founded in 2014, Bigfoot Biomedical is the second company to incorporate a closed-loop control algorithm in a sensor-augmented insulin pump, the company said in the statement. The startup joins Medtronic, which had its hybrid closed-loop system approved by the FDA in September. The device giant’s system is indicated for Type 1 diabetics aged 14 or older. It regulates basal, or background, insulin levels with “little to no input” from the patient.

Bigfoot Biomedical kicked off a clinical trial for smartloop in July. It is taking place at three U.S. sites that focus on “artificial pancreas” development.

“The smartloop automated insulin delivery system has the potential to change people’s lives, said CEO Jeffrey Brewer, at the trial’s launch. “It is designed to deliver better health with greater ease of use, making life simpler for both the patient and the clinicians who treat them, ultimately lowering cost of treatment.”

The round was led by “entities advised by Quadrant Capital Advisors,” Bigfoot said in the statement. Cormorant Asset Management, Senvest Capital and Visionnaire Ventures also participated.