Following the initial announcement of the $5 million Diabetes Data Innovation Initiative (DDII) last summer, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has awarded $3.4 million to DreaMed Diabetes. The grant will fund development of the MD-Logic Pump Advisor, which will give patients and providers insulin-dosing recommendations and optimize pump settings based on trend recognition (through Glooko’s web-based population tracker and mobile app). DreaMed chose to partner with Glooko to develop the technology, which will leverage retrospective CGM, pump, exercise, and food data from the Glooko platform. Based on the accompanying Glooko/DreaMed press release, it sounds like the patient-collected Glooko data will go to providers, who will approve the DreaMed recommendations within the web-based Population Tracker, which will then go to the Glooko mobile app on patients’ phones. This grant will fund an international clinical study, conducted by the nextDREAM consortium and led by the esteemed Dr. Moshe Phillip, to generate preliminary data on the DreaMed Advisor algorithm in pump patients. Notably, the system will also offer population management to bring patients to the attention of healthcare providers when they are in need of optimizing their pump – we love that sort of prioritization. The MD-Logic Pump Advisor could also be ported over to smart insulin pens once they are available in the future – this is particularly exciting from our view since it expands dramatically the number of people who could be helped with their diabetes management. We’ll hear more about the Advisor Thursday at ATTD during talks from Drs. Moshe Phillip and Eran Atlas. Indeed, it’s excellent to see DreaMed expanding beyond artificial pancreas, though leveraging all the work from the development of the DREAM algorithm (licensed to Medtronic last year). We see DreaMed as strong choice for this initiative, and Glooko is a well-positioned partner. Notably, we believe pump settings optimization is a true major, major need and continuous source of confusion for patients and providers – computers can figure out basal rates, carb ratios, and sensitivity factors far better than humans can! And, right now, we don’t think that pump manufactures have been able to show compelling data that pumps provide far better diabetes management than does MDI – so something that can help demonstrate more value is excellent for the entire field. As it happens, we did not peg DreaMed as a likely applicant in our initial coverage of DDII– who else applied and why were they not chosen (e.g., Tidepool, mySugr)? We’re not sure when this preliminary nextDREAM study will commence and how large it will be; whether this grant will fund a pivotal study; and who will be responsible for regulatory submission and commercialization. The original DDII program was for a maximum of $5 million, and it sounds like this may be the only organization who is awarded funds. A big feather in the cap for DreaMed Diabetes, that is for sure, as well as for their partner Glooko. Not surprisingly, HCT does not plan to disclose who the other 69 DDII applicants were – we hope that the best of the other applicants will also see success with the initiatives on which they are working. We’ll be back with more tomorrow on this!
-- by Adam Brown and Kelly Close