Artificial pancreas will control blood sugar in Type 1 diabetics

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France’s CEA-Leti and Diabeloop have announced a joint venture to develop an artificial pancreas that will help improve the treatment of Type 1 diabetes in people.

The joint lab is said to build on Leti and Diabeloop’s earlier three-year research project that included clinical trials in hospitals and demonstrated the promise of a closed-loop system for treating diabetes.

The artificial pancreas, designed to automatically deliver the appropriate dose of insulin to patients, includes a sensor that measures patients’ glucose levels, a pump that delivers insulin, and a smartphone with an embedded algorithm and patient interface that links the sensor and the pump. It also includes telemedicine capabilities for monitoring patients and linking them with health-care providers and dedicated nurses.

“The Diabeloop system can fundamentally improve everyday life of diabetes patients,” said Erik Huneker, CEO of Diabeloop. “It will allow better control of their blood sugar and result in a strong reduction in hypoglycemic events and associated comas, as well as a decrease in diabetes-related complications, such as ocular and renal complications and amputations.”

Leti will further develop the system’s regulation algorithm that takes into account the patients’ carbohydrate intake, glycemia, physical-activity and emotional-state history. The system predicts at any time how a change of insulin dosage will impact patient glycaemia levels in the next few hours and computes the optimal dose, especially at mealtime.

“This joint lab with Diabeloop will build on the success we had in the earlier research project, and bring the world’s first artificial pancreas closer to reality,” said Pierre Jallon, Leti R&D manager for digital health-and-wellness systems.  “Designed for maximum user convenience and optimal integration with health-care providers, Diabeloop is a smart system that will provide a very precise dosage for diabetics.”

The three-year joint lab also will exploit real and simulated data to improve insulin physiology numerical models with a focus on how physical activity and emotional states affect glycemia levels. Clinical trials involving patients living at home are expected in 2015.