Sometimes, the Diabetes Community wins.

I need to take a moment to talk about last Thursday. A day like many other days, full of commutes, and workouts, and tasks to complete. Only this time, it wasn’t exactly a typical Thursday.

Sometimes, the diabetes community wins.

Four big announcements took our world by storm that day, and the news was, to me anyway, all positive.

The day began with an announcement from Type Zero Technologies and Tandem, announcing a working agreement to use Type Zero algorithms in future t:slim artificial pancreas solutions. For a pump agnostic group like Type Zero, it’s very cool to see them working with another partner in addition to CellNovo. I hope to provide more insight on this at a later date. For the official word on Type Zero and their work with Tandem, CLICK HERE.

But wait… that’s not all. There’s more!

Thursday was a big day at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as a hearing took place to discuss Dexcom and its latest continuous glucose monitor, the G5, to decide whether it could be officially approved for patients to make dosing decisions. That’s not the exact wording, but in simple terms, that’s it. In short, FDA approved the measure, and now we all have to decide what that means for us, individually.

For some, this decision isn’t a big deal, because they’re dosing off of the Dexcom readings they see already. For others, they’re thrilled that they see the okay from an official government agency to do this. For still others (Ally makes some points worthy of discussion here), there are questions like “Will I now be denied test strips because insurers will want me to dose off of the Dexcom?”. Again, many sides to the issue, so it will be interesting to see what the coming years bring.

Another, important side to this story: the fact that this disposition makes it so much easier to include CGM within existing Medicare framework in the future. It will probably still require Congress to act, which they haven’t wanted to do for a while, but there’s no question a major roadblock is out of the way.

This was a real success story for the Diabetes Community, as it rallied behind initiatives from Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalitionand diaTribe to sign petitions that were seen by FDA as important influences. They really do listen to us, folks.

But wait… that’s not all. There’s more!

Bigfoot Biomedical also heard from FDA on Thursday, getting approval to move ahead with stage 1 clinical trials on their smartloop™ automated insulin delivery system. Bigfoot has been working hard, and there are so many visible, familiar, lovable faces associated with this company that it’s hard not to root for their success.

The stage 1 clinical trials will be starting shortly, in the San Francisco Bay area, in Santa Barbara, California, and in Denver, Colorado. If these trials are successful, they hope to move into stage 2 trials by the end of this year. Yay Bigfoot!

But wait… that’s not all. There’s more!

Ed Damiano, one of the main driving forces behind the iLet bionic pancreas solution, was named by Boston University as Innovator of the Year for his work on their unique dual-hormone system.

Many people have written about Dr. Damiano and his systems over the years, so there’s not much more I can add, except to say that this recognition is long overdue, and if I were to name the ten most important living scientists working on diabetes-related causes right now, his name would be very near the top. What he and his team have been doing has been influencing all of us, whether we know it right now or not.

Can you believe that all of this good news came out over a single 24 hour period? As my news feeds popped up with each new story Thursday, I could hardly contain my happiness.

Particularly gratifying to me were the many tweets and Facebook status updates from people in the Diabetes Community who feel like there’s a reason to hope again. And boy, do we need some hope. For that reason alone, Thursday was a very good day.

Sometimes, the Diabetes Community wins. Thursday was a great day. Thank you for doing your part to help make it happen.

**Note: the original draft of this post noted Bigfoot Biomedical as a non-profit. It was my mistake, which I am happy to correct.

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Comments

  • Ally  On July 26, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Lots of good momentum in the diabetes world lately. Thanks for your recap, and for the mention, Stephen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Annelieke  On August 2, 2016 at 10:59 am

      “Will I now be denied test strips because insurers will want me to dose off of the Dexcom?” In the Netherlands this is actually the cause albeit for the medtronic cgm. You only get 2-4 strips per day as you’re supposed to use cgm readings as much as possible. A little difficult to trust when it is off so often… But you get used to it, more or les, depending on how good the sensor is that week :’)

      Liked by 2 people

  • Rick Phillips  On July 26, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    We certainly had a great week last week. Oh and yeah for BigFoot.

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes.org blog page for the week of July 25, 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Bernard Farrell  On July 28, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Great summary, thanks. I’m very hopeful we’ll see an artificial/bionic pancreas on the market in the next 2-3 years. Of course then there’ll be the minor issue of insurance coverage, that’s always lagging behind. I’ve had T1 for nearly 44 years, I can wait a little longer!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Lucia Maya  On July 29, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing so much good news! We need some.

    Liked by 1 person

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