Collaboration sometimes comes in bunches; at least, it did on the first day of the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).
Early in the day, Abbott and Sanofi announced a new partnership to make insulin dosing and blood sugar data more available across platforms and devices for customers. Then Medtronic and Novo Nordisk followed the same day with the announcement of a similar collaboration.
The two independent collaborations represent a growing trend of diabetes device makers: opting to design devices for interoperability across companies and platforms. This trend has been assisted by changes in FDA policy to allow for the regulatory approval of interoperable devices.
The non-exclusive agreement between Abbott and Sanofi aims to make available the technology behind the Abbott’s Freestyle Libre continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to better connect smart insulin pens, insulin titration apps, and cloud software in Sanofi’s future line of products. Similarly, Medtronic in a non-exclusive agreement announced it would work to integrate insulin dosing data from future Novo Nordisk pens into potential Medtronic CGM technology.
The revelation of cross-company collaborations during major diabetes-related conferences may become a trend, if recent history is any indication. During the American Diabetes Association 79th Scientific Sessions in June, for example, Medtronic announced a collaboration with Dexcom and Tidepool to bring Tidepool Loop, a closed-loop insulin delivery system, to market.
Such collaborations likely will prove a benefit to people with diabetes, who will in the future have the option to mix and match from devices and algorithms from various diabetes technology companies to create individualized insulin delivery systems that work best for their needs.