JDRF and Tandem Team Up to Develop Dual Chamber Infusion Pump as a Step Toward the Artificial Pancreas

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JDRF and Tandem Diabetes Care, the company behind the t:slim insulin pump, have teamed up to develop a dual-chamber infusion pump for the management of diabetes. The partnership agreement is designed to accelerate the development of a next-generation, fully automated artificial pancreas system.  The aim is to develop an ambulatory device that can simultaneously deliver insulin along with other drug therapies that are used for optimal diabetes management.
 
People with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are burdened with constantly having to determine the right amount of insulin to dose at the right time. Yet even with diligent monitoring, people with T1D spend a significant portion of the day with either high or low blood sugar, placing them at risk for devastating long-term complications from hyperglycemia or traumas from hypoglycemia. Artificial pancreas systems will be external devices that help people with T1D do what their bodies cannot-automatically control their blood sugar around the clock. They will work by combining an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), which provides glucose readings every 1-5 minutes, with sophisticated computer software that allows the two devices to automatically communicate to determine and provide the right amount of insulin at the right time.

 

JDRF will support Tandem in performance-based milestone funding over the next two years to complete the development, testing, and manufacturing of a novel infusion pump that can simultaneously deliver two injectable hormonal drug therapies. Current infusion pumps offer only one hormone, however, a human pancreas produces several hormones, in addition to insulin, that aid metabolism, digestion, and, of course, blood sugar control. 

 

Today, artificial pancreas systems are being tested that automate some insulin delivery. In the future, the goal is to restore the balance of other hormones, in addition to insulin, that are missing or out of balance in people with T1D. The dual-chamber infusion pump being developed by Tandem may help restore the missing hormonal balance in T1D, and will help evolve the artificial pancreas to the next generation of devices that will more closely mimic the function of a healthy human pancreas.

Tandem’s innovative infusion pump technology-also found in the FDA-cleared t:slim® Insulin Pump-is particularly well suited for providing multi-hormone therapy in a compact and sleek design. Administering insulin is a daily requirement for millions of people with diabetes, and millions more manage their diabetes using several hormones or drug treatments. The t:slim Pump’s user-friendly, programmable touch-screen is easy to use and customizable for the needs of dual-therapy regimens.

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