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Bigfoot Biomedical Acquires Asante’s Snap Pump Technology and Signs Deal with Dexcom

Update (6/5/15):

Bigfoot Biomedical just announced that it has signed a development agreement with Dexcom to integrate CGM data into its future automated insulin delivery system. This rapid news comes just one week after Bigfoot acquired Asante’s technology (more on that below). While there aren’t many specifics on what Bigfoot has planned, we believe its automated insulin delivery system may include a Dexcom Gen 5 transmitter sending CGM data (via Bluetooth) to a custom-built controller that fits over the Asante disposable insulin pump body. The speed at which the powerhouse Bigfoot team is moving is impressive (we only broke news of their plans in February) – the goal remains to be in a pivotal trial by the end of 2016.

Original Article (5/25/15):

Twitter Summary: @BigfootBiomed gains Asante pump, aims to enter pivotal trial of #artificialpancreas system by end of 2016

Tonight, we learned that Bigfoot Biomedical has purchased all of Asante’s insulin pump resources, just two weeks after Asante closed down its business. The startup’s current plan is to pair the existing Asante pump body (disposable component) with a new custom-built, Bluetooth-enabled controller (the “brain” of the artificial pancreas), which would receive CGM data and tell the insulin pump when/how much insulin to give. Bigfoot’s ambitious goal is to be in a pivotal trial with this automated insulin delivery system by the end of 2016.

Since Asante’s insulin pump is already FDA approved, Bigfoot Biomedical should hopefully be able to move more quickly through the FDA regulatory process with a fully developed artificial pancreas. Asante’s Snap pump was known for its low upfront cost and convenient features like a pre-filled insulin reservoir and auto-priming (see our test drive, “Not your usual set change”). The pump’s design could even allow Bigfoot to make different controllers, potentially allowing for a more customizable artificial pancreas based on different types of users.

This exciting news is the first concrete product update we’ve heard from the Bigfoot Biomedical team since the startup launched earlier this year. The company is led by a powerhouse team of type 1 dads: former JDRF CEO Jeffrey Brewer, former Medtronic Chief Engineer Lane Desborough, and Bryan Mazlish (who made waves after revealing that he had made a “homebrew artificial pancreas” for his wife and son, which they had been using for over two years). In our interview with these three leaders this February, it was clear that simplicity and access are big priorities for the company, particularly if closed loop systems are to work for the majority of type 1 patients who are not on insulin pumps or CGM. These goals align well with the underlying features of the Snap.

While it was sad to see Asante close down, it’s encouraging to see that the company’s hard work will live on through Bigfoot Biomedical’s efforts. For an overview of the current artificial pancreas systems in development, please see Adam and Kelly’s recent test drive of the UVA DiAs system here. -AJW/AB

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