JDRF, Cam Med join forces on patch pump for ‘artificial pancreas’

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Cam Med, which specializes in microfluidic drug-delivery technology, is working on an ultrathin, flexible, bandage-like pump that delivers one or more injectable drugs. (Image: JDRF)

JDRF and Cam Med are partnering on a bandage-like insulin patch pump for use in next-generation “artificial pancreas” systems.

With funding from JDRF, Cam Med, which specializes in microfluidic-based drug delivery, will advance its Evopump, a thin and flexible pump designed for the delivery of one or more injectable drugs.

"JDRF is excited to partner with Cam Med on improving insulin delivery hardware,” said Jaime Giraldo, JDRF program scientist, research, in a statement. “The Evopump represents the type of miniaturized and user-centric design that could substantially reduce the burden of living with type 1 diabetes and remove obstacles preventing some people, particularly children, from using devices that could improve their glucose management."

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"The Evopump's unique multi-reservoir, electrochemically-actuated design is a game-changer not just in terms of its user-friendly, bandage-like form, but also because it enables the Evopump to be manufactured at a much lower cost than conventional pumps," said Zhifei Ge, chief technology officer at Cam Med.

JDRF has long been working to advance automated insulin delivery. Medtronic made history in 2016 with the FDA approval of the world’s first hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system, but existing technology is bulky and could preclude certain patients from using it—children, for example, who haven’t as much skin to which to attach a pump as adults do.

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And it’s a good time to be developing a patch pump. Early this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that it would cover patch pumps under Medicare Part D. The agency previously only covered traditional, tubed insulin pumps as durable medical equipment, a designation that disposable patch pumps, such as Insulet’s Omnipod device, did not meet.

Patients who used a patch pump and then aged into Medicare found that their device was not covered and had two options: to switch to a tubed pump, or to pay out of pocket for their preferred pump. At the time, there was concern that the lack of reimbursement was stifling innovation, leading companies to shy away from developing new, better patch pump systems.