Today, Debiotech and STMicroelectronics announced an agreement that is aimed at manufacturing and delivering a unique miniature sized insulin-delivery pump. Aptly named the Nanopump, this device is a breakthrough concept that allows a tiny pump to be mounted on a disposable skin patch to provide continuous insulin infusion to diabetic patients.
Insulin pump therapy, or Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII), is an increasingly attractive alternative to individual insulin injections that must be administered several times a day. With CSII, the patient is connected to a programmable pump attached to a storage reservoir, from which insulin is infused into the tissue under the skin. Continuous delivery throughout the day, more closely mimics the natural secretion of insulin from the pancreas.
Today, existing insulin pumps are about the size of a pager. The new ST-enabled Debiotech miniaturized MEMS device is about one quarter the size of these existing pumps and can be worn as a nearly invisible patch on the skin. The small size frees the patient from concerns with holding the pump in place and concealing it under clothing.
The MEMS-based Nanopump also provides better control of the administered insulin doses. Dosing precision is a critical factor in treatment efficacy and contributes to reducing adverse long-term consequences. The Nanopump is able to control delivery at the nanoliter level, very close to the physiological delivery of insulin. The device prevents over-dosing and detects under-delivery, occlusion, air bubbles and other potential malfunctions in the pump to further protect patients.
As a disposable device, manufactured using high-volume semiconductor processing technologies, the MEMS-based Nanopump will also be much more affordable, allowing the patient or the health system to avoid the typical up-front investment associated with current pump solutions.
According to Frederick Neftel, MD, President & CEO of Debiotech SA, “ This collaboration with ST represents a major step in manufacturing of the Nanopump to make it available to a broad market at a cost compatible with a unique disposable use. ST is a world leader in MEMS manufacturing and we are very excited to be working together to bring a real innovation to diabetic patients, offering a new way to treat one of the most severe diseases of our century.”