Ascensia, Insulet ink diabetes development pact

The Omnipod Dash system will calculate and deliver insulin doses based on glucose data from Ascensia's Contour system. (Insulet)

Ascensia Diabetes Care has signed a deal to connect its blood glucose monitoring system to Insulet’s in-development tubeless insulin delivery system. The combined system will measure a patient’s glucose levels, then calculate and deliver the right insulin dose.

Under the agreement, Insulet will pursue FDA clearance for its Omnipod Dash personal diabetes manager in collaboration with Ascensia, which will bring its Contour Next One glucose meter and test strips to the table.

The Contour system will transmit a patient’s blood glucose data via Bluetooth to the Omnipod Dash, which will use those readings to calculate and deliver the appropriate insulin dose, according to a statement. The Dash is based on the company’s Omnipod insulin delivery system.

Insulet’s Omnipod system comprises an adhesive insulin-delivering “pod” and a handheld personal diabetes manager. The pod may be worn for up to three days, while the handheld device includes a FreeStyle blood glucose meter and bolus calculation. A patient fills the pod, sticks it to his or her body and uses the handheld device to program a bolus as required.

The Dash, which will automatically adjust insulin dose based on blood glucose values, is the next step on the road to an “artificial pancreas.” Insulet announced early data for its hybrid closed-loop system, the Omnipod Horizon, in February.

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The 36-hour study involved 24 adults with Type 1 diabetes who used a modified version of the Omnipod, a Dexcom glucose sensor and Insulet’s predictive control algorithm. The study found patients stayed in their target blood glucose range 69% of the time, kept their overnight blood glucose levels under control 90% of the time and spent less time in hypoglycemia than they did before the study.

"This alliance is the next step in our goal of providing integrated solutions for people living with diabetes,” Ascensia CEO Michael Kloss said in the statement. “We believe that integrated diabetes management is the future and are happy to work with partners that will help us to achieve this goal together.”