NIDDK Funds Development of Dual Hormone Patch Pump for People with Diabetes


Miniaturized system will allow accurate insulin and glucagon dosing in a discreet, low profile patch pump for people with Type 1 diabetes.

SFC Fluidics announced it has received a $1.4 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease of the National Institutes of Health to develop a patch pump that can deliver both insulin and glucagon to people with Type 1 diabetes. Glucagon is a hormone that helps the liver release glucose in order to raise blood sugar levels.  

The small system in development is the size of existing insulin-only patch pumps, and SFC’s proposed patch pump system will have the necessary safety features and dose accuracy to allow automated insulin and glucagon dosing. Another proprietary feature of the proposed system is a flow confirmation sensor that determines whether dose administration has occurred as expected in real-time. This sensor will quickly alert to any problems within the patch pump such as occlusions, leaks, depleted drug supply, accidental misloading, and any mechanical/electrical failure. According to Dr. Forrest Payne, the Principal Investigator on the project, “The suite of patents and patent applications that covers SFC Fluidics’ system – from the pump to the valves to the sensors – will allow for development of a next generation dual-hormone patch pump that combines safety, convenience and small size with excellent accuracy and precision.”

“We think the proposed system will be especially attractive to adolescents with Type 1 diabetes and will serve the broader diabetic community as well. What’s more, we see the dual hormone drug delivery system as a vital part of a future state-of-the-art artificial pancreas,” remarked Greg Lamps, SFC’s Vice President of Product Realization.

In July of this year, JDRF announced it will provide funding to SFC for the development of an insulin patch pump with open-protocol communication capabilities. JDRF launched its Open-Protocol Automated Insulin Delivery (AID) Systems Initiative in 2017 with the goal to work with key stakeholders to understand the regulatory and liability implications of an “open-protocol” AID ecosystem – in which AID components may be seamlessly and safely interoperable – and moreover to accelerate the delivery of such components to market. The development and delivery to market of a fully interoperable, open-protocol insulin pump is the goal of this JDRF-SFC partnership.

The two-year funding commitment from JDRF enables SFC to accelerate the development and regulatory submission of an open-protocol patch pump system that enable seamless, secure connectivity with other devices (e.g., by using Bluetooth technology) such as interoperable continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and third-party AID algorithms. Such algorithms may include solutions developed in recent years by the do-it-yourself (DIY) community, a following which is steadily gaining traction.



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