Bigfoot raises $37M to trial AI-enabled insulin delivery devices

Bigfoot Biomedical has raised $37 million. The series B gives Bigfoot the financial muscle to move its automated insulin infusion device into a pivotal clinical trial in the U.S. next year. 

Milpitas, CA-based Bigfoot is working on two products: an insulin infusion device that mimics the function of the pancreas and a smart injection pen. Bigfoot is putting a network of sensors and algorithms around the delivery devices to automate and optimize diabetes management. 

In the case of the pump, Bigfoot Loop, Abbott’s wearable FreeStyle Libre provides a needle and calibration-free source of glucose readings. Bigfoot’s algorithms turns these data into insulin doses optimized to the needs of the patients. The pump delivers the dose and the cycle begins again.

The potential for the system to significantly reduce the burden of diabetes management—and the perception that Bigfoot is at the forefront of attempts to develop such an artificial pancreas—has led a series of investors to write big checks. 

RELATED: Bigfoot picks Abbott glucose sensor for insulin delivery tech

Having led Bigfoot’s $36 million series A and established itself as the startup’s largest shareholder, Quadrant Capital Advisors returned to co-lead the series B with new backer Janus Henderson Investors. A clutch of other existing investors including Cormorant Asset Management, JDRF T1D Fund and T1D Exchange also returned in the series B.

The syndicate has equipped Bigfoot to move its infusion pump system into a pivotal trial next year. Bigfoot’s early development of the system used the Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitoring system. But, having hooked up with Abbott earlier this year, the version trialed next year will incorporate  FreeStyle Libre. Bigfoot has previously said it hopes to get the device to market by 2020.