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Sanofi and Medtronic partner to develop diabetes drug-device combos

Exciting developments in diabetes care and treatment could soon be made under a new alliance between French pharmaceutical company Sanofi and US-based medical device firm Medtronic.
The recently announced collaboration will see the two companies combine their expertise to develop drug-device combinations and care management services for people with type 2 diabetes, with a focus on patients who are prescribed insulin after failing to control their blood sugar levels on oral medications.
In a statement made at the American Diabetes Association’s meeting in San Francisco, Sanofi and Medtronic said they will initially work on developing simple, affordable devices for use in combination with Sanofi’s diabetes treatments, and offering a range of services that support type 2 diabetes patients on making the transition from tablet therapies to the daily use of insulin.
“Sanofi will tap into technology advances that aim to create holistic treatment solutions which take into account the individual patient’s needs,” Pascale Witz, Sanofi’s executive vice president of global divisions and strategic development, said in the statement.
Hooman Hakami, president of Medtronic’s diabetes business, explained that the company chose Sanofi over other companies to work with as “they have experience in type 2 diabetes and understand the patient needs in that market”, which coupled with Sanofi’s understanding of the type 1 market “makes it a natural partnership”.
Sanofi is best known in the diabetes field for its basal insulin product Lantus, which is the world’s most prescribed insulin treatment for diabetes. However, the company is seeking new avenues of growth in diabetes as its patent on Lantus is due to expire in 2015.
Medtronic’s range of diabetes products include insulin pumps and glucose monitoring devices, and the firm is now looking to expand its portfolio with the help of Sanofi.
The pair has already worked together in Europe on an implantable insulin delivery system for patients with type 1 diabetes, and plan to add that project to their alliance.

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