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Calibra Finesse Bolus Insulin Patch Pump to Launch in the US in 2016

Twitter Summary: J&J expects 2016 launch of Finesse, bolus-only #insulin delivery patch pump

In J&J’s most recent quarterly update call, we learned of plans to launch the Calibra Finesse bolus-only, wearable insulin delivery device in the US in 2016. The product was approved by the FDA way back in 2010 for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and was subsequently acquired by J&J in 2012. This announcement is the most concrete launch timing we’ve heard since the acquisition three years ago.

The Finesse “insulin patch pump” is a slim, plastic device worn on the skin for up to three days. It can hold up to 200 units of fast-acting insulin (Humalog, NovoLog), and allows the wearer to take boluses in two-unit increments by pressing two on-device buttons simultaneously — including through clothing. The Finesse is completely mechanical — no handheld controller, displays, batteries, or memory – so we hope it is priced reasonably (no details at this time). The Calibra’s big highlight is its small size (just 0.25 inches thick, two inches long, and one inch wide,), making it much more discreet than bolusing insulin with pens or syringes.

The Finesse does not administer a basal rate of insulin, meaning those on multiple daily injections (MDI) would still need to take their basal injection (Lantus, Levemir, Toujeo).

Given the hassles of taking insulin and dealing with needles, patients always appreciate more convenient and discreet delivery options for patients. There are a growing number of available products aimed at reducing or eliminating these challenges:

  • Valeritas V-Go: A wearable insulin delivery device that delivers both basal rates and boluses of insulin for adults with diabetes, focusing on type 2. It comes in three different sizes. Approved in the US in 2010. More information here.

  • MannKind’s Afrezza: Ultra-rapid mealtime insulin taken with an inhaler. Available in the US since April. More information here. -CA/AB

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