Ypsomed hands off insulin pen needle business to focus on smart pump, autoinjector development

The Swiss diabetes hardware company Ypsomed is selling off its insulin pen needle and blood sugar monitoring operations, as it turns its attention toward its drug autoinjectors and digital insulin pump for closed-loop artificial pancreas systems.

The company has signed an agreement to hand over those businesses to Medical Technology and Devices, also known as the global medtech manufacturer and distributor MTD Group, which maintains production facilities in Italy and Poland.

Though the total cost of the deal was not disclosed, Ypsomed said the transaction will help it invest more than 100 million Swiss francs, or about $111 million, in the expansion of its own site in Solothurn, Switzerland, over the next four years.

“We are proud of our long tradition in the production and distribution of pen needles in over 40 countries and our contribution to a better life for people with diabetes and other chronic conditions,” Ypsomed CEO Simon Michel said in a statement. “At Ypsomed Diabetes Care, we are now fully focusing on our insulin pump solutions.”

During a transition period expected to last through mid-2025, Ypsomed will serve as a contract manufacturer to maintain the supply of insulin pen needles while its production equipment is gradually moved into MTD sites.

At the same time, Ypsomed said the Solothurn expansion is planned to double its injection molding tool shop capacity, potentially providing job openings for all Ypsomed employees affected by the transfer of the pen needle business. The company said it can ensure current employment through the end of 2024.

“This acquisition will enable us to accelerate growth and enter new strategic markets, leveraging a broader product portfolio combining the click technology from Ypsomed and MTD’s thinnest and shortest 34G pen needle,” said MTD CEO Charles Bouaziz.

According to Ypsomed, its pen needle and blood glucose monitoring businesses brought in 52 million Swiss francs ($57 million) during its 2023 fiscal year.

Ypsomed previously put forward its smart insulin pump, the mylife Loop, for a combined diabetes management system alongside Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 3 continuous glucose monitor and the CamAPS FX dosing algorithm developed by the University of Cambridge spinout CamDiab. The artificial pancreas system made its U.K. debut last May, to help manage background insulin levels based on real-time blood sugar readings.

Meanwhile, the company signed on to a long-term manufacturing deal with Novo Nordisk to provide autoinjectors for the drugmaker’s blockbuster GLP-1 drugs Wegovy and Ozempic. That agreement included an undisclosed amount of funding to expand its manufacturing capabilities, with deliveries expected to begin in 2025.