Senseonics raised $20 million to advance continuous glucose monitoring implant

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There are just a handful of big medical device companies that dominate the continuous glucose monitoring space and Senseonics is looking to compete with them. It has raised $20 million across two tranches from current investors to advance an implant to continuously monitor blood-glucose levels. It transmits that data to patients and doctors through a smartphone app.

Although the Germantown, Maryland company has been around for 17 years, it spent most of that time focused on research. Only in the past few years with the hire of CEO Tim Goodnow has the company focused its attention on advancing medical devices. Goodnow previously worked at Abbott Diabetes Care where he was vice president for technical operations.

Senseonics sensor is implanted in the upper arm for up to six months. It uses a fluorescent, glucose-indicating polymer. A light emitting diode in the sensor stimulates the polymer, and the polymer signals changes in glucose concentration through a change in the light. The glucose measurement is relayed to a transmitter. This entire measurement is designed to be done autonomously and independently, according to the description of the product on the company’s website.

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Pivotal trials have begun in Amsterdam and are scheduled for this summer in Germany and the UK and take about one year. After it secures a greenlight for its IDE application, Senseonics expects to begin clinical trials in the U.S. next year.  So far 200 patients have tried the device.

Among Sensionics’ investors are Abingworth Management, Anthem Capital, Delphi Ventures, Greenspring Associates, HealthCare Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Rho Capital Partners.

The company is aiming for more accurate readings than those produced by Dexcom, Medtronic and Abbott, which has a device in the European market, but not the U.S. The continuous glucose monitoring device segment is projected to hit $568.5 million by 2020, according to a report by Repotlinker.com, helped by the 347 million people with diabetes as of last year.

Update Dexcom’s G4 Platinum Continuous Glucose Monitor secured FDA clearance this week.

In a phone interview with MedCity News, Mirasol Panlilio, Senseonics vice president of marketing and sales, said the device goes beyond the current standard for continuous glucose monitoring devices. It leaves out the handheld device that current models tend to use. The sensor talks to the transmitter and does the calculations and the data is sent to either an iPhone or Android.

Panlilio said the target patient population is Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients who want to better manage their condition.

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Stephanie Baum

By Stephanie Baum

Stephanie Baum is the East Coast Innovation Reporter for MedCityNews.com. 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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