Lilly inks smart insulin pen deals with Roche, Dexcom and more

To make sure its upcoming connected insulin pen system will work with the user’s choice of daily diabetes management platforms, Eli Lilly & Co. has signed compatibility agreements with four international providers.

That includes glucose monitoring sensors, digital health programs and other tools from Roche, Dexcom, Glooko and myDiabby Healthcare. 

Lilly is developing its Tempo Smart Button—a small device that attaches to its currently available, prefilled Tempo insulin delivery pen—to automatically record medication usage and wirelessly pair with smartphones or other devices. 

The company aims to secure a CE mark for the Tempo Smart Button by the end of this year, enabling it and the Tempo Pen to be sold as a single package in European markets.

"Insulin dose logging is often an incomplete piece of the diabetes management puzzle for people who use insulin pens and manually track their doses,” Lilly’s VP of product development for connected care and insulins, Marie Schiller, said in a statement.

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Lilly is also leaving the door open for future collaborations, with the goal of making real-time data from its insulin pen easily accessible, Schiller said.

With Roche, the Tempo Smart Button will be able to beam data directly to the Big Pharma’s mySugr app, which syncs therapy and blood sugar information, while also tracking meals and exercise. The app, which also integrates with Novo Nordisk’s smart insulin pen, transmits comprehensive reports to healthcare providers through Roche’s diabetes care platform.

"Having diabetes is often described as a full-time job,” said Marcel Gmuender, global head of Roche Diabetes Care. “The time spent on activities that come with insulin therapy—blood glucose monitoring, carbohydrate counting, injections and lifestyle planning—can add up to several hours a week."

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myDiabby, based in France, also provides telemedicine support to people with diabetes, with separate mobile apps for Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Meanwhile, Glooko's virtual management platform is designed to connect with just about any diabetes device to offer remote monitoring.

"Studies have shown that when smart insulin devices are synced with digital health tools, it improves outcomes for people living with diabetes,” said Russ Johannesson, CEO of Glooko.

Lilly has also been collaborating with the glucose monitor maker Dexcom for years, integrating the company’s CGM systems with its pen- and pump-based insulin delivery platforms for personalized care. Last October, the two companies partnered up to co-promote Lilly’s Lyumjev fast-acting insulin alongside Dexcom’s G6 blood sugar sensor.