Abbott, Bigfoot Biomedical to Partner on Automated Diabetes Management System

The partnership is the latest pairing in the diabetes technology sector, as companies compete to offer ever less invasive tools for disease management.

The pairings in the diabetes technology sector continue: Abbott and Bigfoot Biomedical today announced plans to work together on diabetes management systems that combine Abbott’s Freestyle Libre glucose sensing technology and Bigfoot’s insulin delivery systems.

The collaboration is the latest as people living with diabetes get closer to holy grail of finger-stick free insulin delivery and glucose management, or the "artificial pancreas." Every person with type 1 diabetes (T1D), and more and more with type 2 diabetes (T2D) must have daily insulin injections to control blood glucose levels; in a statement, Bigfoot put this number at about 6 million in the United States.

The story of Bigfoot Biomedical is one of the most compelling in the diabetes technology sector: When Wall Street trader Bryan Mazlish’s 5-year-old son was diagnosed with T1D, he used his knowledge of how algorithms could replace human decision making to hack his way to a better glucose management solution with existing technology. Mazlish’s wife, a physician also living with T1D, offered ideas and feedback.

From there, Mazlish set about to commercialize technology that would free people with T1D from finger sticks and parents of T1D children from waking up multiple times a night for glucose checks. Bigfoot has both injection and infusion pump-based insulin delivery systems in development.

Abbott, meanwhile, has pioneered technology that records up to 14 days’ worth of data without finger sticks or patient interaction, which is invaluable for physicians seeking a real look at glucose levels without relying on patients to record blood glucose readings or properly operate a device.

Under the agreement:

  • Abbott will supply glucose management sensors for Bigfoot’s insulin systems in the United States, as the exclusive sensors.
  • Bigfoot will develop and commercialize multiple systems using Abbott’s Freestyle Libre sensors, including those for automatic insulin titration and delivery.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.