Former JDRF CEO Jeffrey Brewer to lead new company, SmartLoop, with Bryan Mazlish and Lane Desborough – December 11, 2014

Former JDRF CEO Jeffrey Brewer and quant-jock whiz kid Bryan Mazlish of the “Mazlish Box” fame have teamed up to lead a new company, SmartLoop. Recently they hired the one-and-only Lane Desborough from Medtronic Diabetes, who is Medtronic’s former Chief Engineer of Insulin Delivery as well as a type 1 dad (as is Mazlish, who is also a type 1 partner – he’s married to Dr. Sarah Kimball, the highly regarded New York pediatrician who is known as a diabetes management “whisperer”). While Desborough’s departure is a major loss for Medtronic, SmartLoop’s focus on leveraging technology and automation to improve the lives of people with type 1 diabetes is surely a very big positive for patients and all organizations working in the field (especially closed loop). In other words, we believe Medtronic will still benefit, even if from afar. Medtronic of course is the company to beat these days on the path to the closed loop for several reasons: an unparalleled infrastructure of 975 sales reps inside + outside sales), a ~$141 million R&D budget (per comments from the 2014 Analyst Day), a new management team under the brainpower of new CEO Hooman Hakami, and the only company than can boast a commercialized CGM and pump under the same roof. We have no doubt that the work of SmartLoop can help push the entire field forward – we look forward to seeing what this powerhouse team has in store. Jeffrey Brewer has been a facilitator of the efforts of others in the field (originally working with JDRF to found the Artificial Pancreas Project, then at JDRF to work  directly with companies, move the FDA, and spearhead reimbursement), and now it’s exciting to see him taking a more direct approach.