Painfree glucose monitoring system clinical trial nets positive results

4:57 pm by | 3 Comments

A medical device company with a needlefree glucose monitoring system that keeps a constant read of glucose levels in the blood has achieved positive clinical trial results in a study to monitor patients in a critical care setting.

The study at Tufts University included 15 adult patients scheduled for elective cardiac surgery. Echo Therapeutics’  (NASDAQ: ECTE) device, the Symphony tCGM biosensor, was applied to the patients’ skin site prior to surgery. Blood samples were collected from the arterial line catheters every 30 minutes and measured with a glucose analyzer. The 540 Symphony tCGM glucose readings for the study subjects were paired with reference blood glucose measurements and showed that more than 99 percent of the readings were clinically accurate with no benign errors.

The needle-free, transdermal device is designed to be more efficient and less invasive for patients in hospital settings. Although critical care patients have been in its initial target, the company sees plenty of scope for the device to be used in the daily ritual of diabetics checking their levels.

Although there are several glucose monitoring systems on the market or being developed, Dr. Patrick Mooney’s Echo’s CEO and chairman said its device has a better error rate than its rivals and can give continuous readings. Mooney also sees potential for the device for transdermal drug delivery, a market valued at $5.6 billion.


The company’s Prelude and Symphony devices were developed at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts by Dr. Bob Langer. Although the company relocated to Philadelphia last year, the manufacturing side of the business has stayed in the Boston area.

The company expanded its offices last month by adding 2,400 square feet to its 5,4000o square-foot office at 1628 JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia. The 60 month lease starts June 1.


Echo Therapeutics CEO Patrick Mooney

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Stephanie Baum

By Stephanie Baum

Stephanie Baum is the East Coast Innovation Reporter for She enjoys covering healthcare startups across health IT, drug development and medical devices and innovations deployed to improve medical care. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania and has worked across radio, print and video. She's written for The Christian Science Monitor, Dow Jones & Co. and United Business Media.
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When I learn of a new way of monitoring my glucose levels I'm always hopeful that the new way will be an obviously better choice than sticking your finger and putting a drop of blood on a test strip inserted into the meter. For me personally, this one appears to be another disappointment.  While being somewhat less invasive, it is a device that hardly simplifies the issue of needing a small  transportable device that allows ease of use. What I long to see is a singular small device, which would not require expensive test strips, and may read glucose levels through infrared technology, or other non-invasive means.