Biocon annouces digital diabetes tie-up with Voluntis

Biocon has announced a deal with digital therapy specialist Voluntis, aiming to create personalised care for people with type 2 diabetes taking biosimilar insulins.

The licensing agreement will allow Biocon to offer patients taking insulin an FDA-approved app called Insulia that provides automated insulin dose recommendations allowing people with diabetes to self-manage their condition.

It also allows healthcare teams to remotely monitor their progress.

Other pharma companies in diabetes are offering digital technology aids to help people manage their disease: Eli Lilly is integrating continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices in its pen and pump-based delivery devices to improve management of the disease.

Biocon said that demand for at-home treatment and telemedicine products is “dramatically increasing” around the world.

Crucially it reported that healthcare systems are beginning to offer reimbursement for the products for eligible patients.

Biocon has developed a biosimilar of Sanofi’s Lantus (insulin glargine) with Mylan, and cheaper competitors to this former blockbuster mean the French company has decided to quit the diabetes market altogether.

India-based Biocon also has a biosimilar of Novo Nordisk’s Novolog (insulin aspart) and the plan is to combine its biosimilar insulins with Insulia.

While the insulins used are based on products that have been on the market for years, Biocon hopes that adding the digital service will allow care to be personalised to each patient.

This could reduce both the cost of the drug and the cost of administering it, the company said.

It aims to use feedback from digital platforms to tweak its products to produce services that are designed around the patient.

Insulia already has clearance from the FDA and CE mark clearance in Europe, but no financial details were disclosed.

Christiane Hamacher, CEO and Managing Director, Biocon Biologics, said: “We believe pairing our products with a digital therapeutics solution will help improve patient outcomes and reduce costs to healthcare systems in the long term.”


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