2. Are we about to revolutionize diabetes treatment?It’s probably no coincidence that out of the 10 medical device companies spending the largest portion of their budgets on research in 2017, two were in the diabetes space. San Diego–based Dexcom (Nasdaq: DXCM) boasts that its G5 Mobile continuous glucose monitoring system gives users glucose readings every 5 minutes and provides them with a trend arrow so they can see where they’re heading, while Insulet (Nasdaq: PODD) seeks to expand the use of insulin pump therapy for diabetes through its Omnipod insulin management system.
The diabetes treatment space seems on the verge of disruptive innovation – especially when it comes to creating a combined glucose sensor, control algorithm and insulin infusion device that could effectively act as an “artificial pancreas.” Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) appears to be ahead in the race; its MiniMed 670G was the 1st hybrid closed-loop system to win FDA approval. But a host of upstarts including Bigfoot Biomedical – which has a partnership with Abbott – think they could do even better. Instead of simply selling their system, California-based Bigfoot is looking to market it as a service with a monthly fee.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) announced in October that it would close its 410-worker Animas insulin pump subsidiary. J&J said it would help its roughly 90,000 Animas patients transfer to Medtronic products.