Pumping away: Insulin pumps from Roche and CeQur

Getting away from the multiple daily injections of insulin is a holy grail for diabetics, and both multinationals and start-ups are developing insulin pumps to make this a reality. Roche ($RHHBY) has launched its Accu-Check Combo insulin interactive pump in the U.S., and Swiss start-up CeQur has completed a clinical trial of its PaQ insulin delivery device.

Following its FDA approval in July, Accu-Check Combo is now available in the U.S. This high-tech system combines a glucose meter and an insulin pump that communicate via Bluetooth and can be controlled remotely, allowing highly personalized therapy and hands-free use. It delivers a basal dose of insulin, as well as a bolus dose on demand, and can help the patient calculate the best dose.

"By combining blood glucose monitoring, data management and insulin delivery all in one system, people with diabetes can easily and discreetly incorporate diabetes management into their everyday life," says Marc Gibeley, Head of Roche Diabetes Care North America. Accu-Check Combo is already available in a number of European and Asia-Pacific countries, including France, Germany, U.K., and Australia.

Much earlier in development, CeQur has completed a clinical trial of its PaQ insulin delivery device in insulin-dependent people with type 2 diabetes, and expects to publish results in early 2013. The device includes a disposable insulin reservoir and a reusable insulin monitor, and delivers a constant level of basal insulin over three days, along with bolus insulin on demand.

Insulin dependent diabetes is a huge market--there are more than 25 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, and in the U.S. and Europe, 11 million have insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes. Around half of people who use insulin will skip a dose because the dosing is embarrassing, inconvenient, painful, or disruptive. Discrete devices of these types could help people manage their disease better, avoiding long-term and irreversible complications.

"There is still a tremendous need for simple, discrete, effective, and less invasive insulin therapy for people with type 2 diabetes," says James Peterson, founder and CEO, CeQur.

- read the press release from Roche
- check out the article from MassHighTech