On Wednesday, the T1D Exchange announced a “multi-million dollar investment” to advance automated insulin delivery (AID) devices, a program with broad and exciting aims: making strategic investments, advancing system components, identifying and supporting novel technologies, and minimizing barriers to commercialization. The non-profit isn’t disclosing financial details, but the amount of funding will depend on the opportunities chosen –it’s certainly more than $1 million, but presumably less than $10 million (our speculation). Following an initial landscape evaluation led by T1D Exchange CMO Dr. Henry Anhalt, a working committee is identifying novel, differentiated AID opportunities that require funding. We could imagine many on the docket: novel system designs that could expand the market beyond pumpers, reduce burden, or change business models; improved infusion sets (longer wear, less damage); better CGM devices (more accurate, smaller, cheaper, integrated with infusion sets); smaller and cheaper pumps; faster insulins; more intuitive and adaptive algorithms; and beyond. The scope is intentionally broad and the Exchange’s goal is to invest dollars where they can have the most impact. We salute the Helmsley Charitable Trust for giving the T1D Exchange this grant – AID needs a thriving commercial market, and the goals of this program are right in line with enabling one. As part of the terms, it sounds like the Exchange will have the opportunity to earn future revenues from its investments. For more on the state of the AID field, see our Competitive Landscape (updated Friday) and our coverage of Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G FDA approval (launching in Spring 2017).
- Separately, The T1D Exchange also just wrapped up semi-finals presentations for its Diabetes Innovation Challenge – see the list of early- and late-stage semi-finalists here. The Glu article here gives more specifics on ten of the companies. Finalists will be posted on October 12, ahead of the finals event on October 20 and the Annual T1D Exchange Meeting on October 21. The Challenge will provide $150,000 or more in cash or in-kind services (provided by T1D Exchange, M2D2, lead sponsors JDRF and American Diabetes Association, and others) to at least two awardees.
-- by Adam Brown and Kelly Close