IBJNews

Glucose monitor deal helps Roche catch up

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Roche Diagnostics Corp., which operates its North American headquarters from Indianapolis, announced an agreement that will get it into the continuous glucose monitoring game in the United States—the latest wave of innovation in diabetes care.

Switzerland-based Roche will partner with San Diego-based DexCom Inc. to incorporate its continuous glucose monitoring sensor with a wireless handheld device Roche is developing to help diabetics test their blood sugar and track their glucose levels throughout the day.

The Roche handheld device would also control Roche’s insulin pumps—including a still-to-come patch pump called Solo, which Roche acquired along with its Israel-based maker last year.

Continuous glucose monitors allow diabetic patients to get more frequent readings on their blood glucose levels, which can fluctuate substantially throughout the day. More frequent readings could help them better manage their diets and medications, including shots of insulin.

Standard blood glucose meters require patients to prick their finger each time they test, something that is not pleasant to do. Roche is one of the leaders in standard glucose meters and test strips, selling $2.6 billion worth last year, according to San Francisco-based research firm Close Concerns Inc.

By combining a continuous glucose monitor with an insulin pump—typically used by patients with Type I diabetes—Minnesota-based Medtronic Inc. was able to leap out to an early lead in the new technology.

Also, Massachusetts-based Insulet Corp. has paired its patch pump OmniPod with continuous glucose monitors made by DexCom and by Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories. And New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson also has a deal with DexCom to link up its insulin pump with DexCom’s continuous glucose monitor.

But Roche has been on the sidelines—until last week. It agreed to pay DexCom $3 million upfront and contribute an estimated $1 million or more toward development of DexCom’s next-generation sensor. Roche also will pay a $100 royalty to DexCom for each of the handheld devices it sells.

“With this partnership we are taking the next step in further integrating the key elements of optimal diabetes management into combined solutions that can contribute to improved medical outcomes,” Luc Vierstraete, Roche’s global head of diabetes care, said in a prepared statement.

Roche’s insulin pump sales have been meager—just $24 million in the United States last year and $223 million worldwide, according to Close Concerns. The firm estimated that Roche will not receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its new Solo patch pump until 2013. Close Concerns does not expect DexCom’s new sensor to receive market approval until 2014.

“The agreements should also make Roche more competitive on the pump front,” wrote Close Concerns analysts Kelly Close, Joseph Shivers and Adam Brown, in a research report on the agreement. They added, “Roche will also certainly benefit from the DexCom ‘halo.’”

Under terms of a separate agreement, Roche’s sales force will begin to promote DexCom’s continuous glucose monitor, called the Seven Plus, to health care providers. DexCom is now promoting its continuous glucose monitor as a standalone product that diabetics can use, whether they use an insulin pump or not.

DexCom is still working, however, to get health insurers to pay for the devices, as consumers have been slow to pay out of pocket for them, Close Concerns said.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Concernd Citizen
    I like being able to keep up with the IBJ every morning, but sometimes I don't get to catch it in time, so keepping up with it on the internet is more conveint for me since I am home-bound. I get to keep up on my diabeties information.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Liberals do not understand that marriage is not about a law or a right ... it is a rite of religous faith. Liberals want "legal" recognition of their homosexual relationship ... which is OK by me ... but it will never be classified as a marriage because marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. You can gain / obtain legal recognition / status ... but most people will not acknowledge that 2 people of the same sex are married. It's not really possible as long as marriage is defined as one man and one woman.

  2. That second phrase, "...nor make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunitites of citizens..." is the one. If you can't understand that you lack a fundamental understanding of the Constitution and I can't help you. You're blind with prejudice.

  3. Why do you conservatives always go to the marrying father/daughter, man/animal thing? And why should I keep my sexuality to myself? I see straights kissy facing in public all the time.

  4. I just read the XIV Amendment ... I read where no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property ... nor make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunitites of citizens ... I didn't see anything in it regarding the re-definition of marriage.

  5. I worked for Community Health Network and the reason that senior leadership left is because they were not in agreement with the way the hospital was being ran, how employees were being treated, and most of all how the focus on patient care was nothing more than a poster to stand behind. Hiring these analyst to come out and tell people who have done the job for years that it is all being done wrong now...hint, hint, get rid of employees by calling it "restructuring" is a cheap and easy way out of taking ownership. Indiana is an "at-will" state, so there doesn't have to be a "reason" for dismissal of employment. I have seen former employees that went through this process lose their homes, cars, faith...it is very disturbing. The patient's as well have seen less than disireable care. It all comes full circle.

ADVERTISEMENT