Roundup: Insulin delivery devices at ADA

At the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in Chicago this week, several insulin-delivery devices took the stage, promising to ease diabetes treatments and carve a niche in that valuable market.

The following is a roundup of some of the big insulin-delivery news from ADA. For more coverage, check out FierceBiotech's summary of drug news from the meeting.

- Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Animas division brought some big news to the table with its unveiling of positive results for its artificial pancreas candidate, the Hypoglycemia-Hyperglycemia Minimizer System (HHM). The closed-loop glucose-control device was the first of its kind to reach feasibility studies in 2011 until others from companies like Medtronic ($MDT), Becton Dickinson ($BDX) and Tandem entered the fray. The study of 20 adults with Type 1 diabetes focused on night-time use of the device, and patients spent over 90% of the overnight period within a healthy blood glucose range, according to the company. 

"These feasibility studies set the path for the pivotal studies later on, and we're making very steady progress into pivotal trials," Animas R&D Director Ramakrishna Venugopalan told FierceDrugDelivery. "We're quite happy with the performance of the controls in the overnight period, and these studies have given us a high level of confidence in the product's functionalities." Story

- That brings us to the other artificial pancreas news from the meeting, this time heralded by Medtronic ($MDT) for its MiniMed device. The company touted positive results from a study of its sensor-integrated insulin pump that showed the device reduced overnight hypoglycemia rates in patients with Type 1 diabetes. In a large study, Medtronic showed that its artificial pancreas candidate could compete on a level with Animas', just days after the latter's own results were announced.

"ASPIRE In-Home met both its safety and efficacy endpoints and it provides additional clinical validation for Threshold Suspend, the first diabetes technology to automatically take action based on sensor glucose values," Medtronic Diabetes Vice President Francine Kaufman said in a statement. "The study results are important as we continue to move toward our goal of developing a fully automated system, or artificial pancreas, that will one day require very minimal interaction from the patient." Story

- Valeritas also had study data to boast in Chicago--the company released interim results from its V-Go insulin delivery device study of Type 2 diabetes patients who showed improved glycemic control and a reduction in total daily insulin dose, according to the company. They also showed no significant change in weight while using the device. The fully disposable device for basal-bolus insulin therapy is for on-demand dosing around mealtimes. Release

- And finally, BD Medical, part of Becton Dickinson ($BDX), launched its pen needle for easier delivery of insulin in daily injections. The Ultra-Fine Nano 4mm Pen Needle uses the company's EasyFlow technology and allowed patients to inject insulin faster and with less thumb force because of increased space inside the needle, increasing the flow rate by up to 149%, according to the company. Release

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