A News Health — 29 September 2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the world’s first artificial pancreas — the MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system.  The medical device is designed to automatically monitor glucose (sugar) and provide appropriate basal insulin doses in people with type 1 diabetes (14 years of age and older).

The human pancreas naturally supplies a low, continuous rate of insulin, known as basal or background insulin. In patients with diabetes, the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired.

FIGHT THE PAIN Visa Prepaid Card Ad 3 V1In clinical trials, the 670G system kept people with T1D within their desired blood sugar range 72 percent of the time, vs. 67 percent without the system.  At night, the most dangerous time for blood sugar highs and lows, the difference was even more pronounced, 75 percent in range vs. 67 percent without the technology. Overall glucose control, as measured by HbA1c levels, improved from 7.4% at baseline to 6.9% at study end.

“The FDA is dedicated to making technologies available that can help improve the quality of life for those with chronic diseases – especially those that require day-to-day maintenance and ongoing attention,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “This first-of-its-kind technology can provide people with type 1 diabetes greater freedom to live their lives without having to consistently and manually monitor baseline glucose levels and administer insulin.”

In the past decade, JDRF has invested more than $116 million in diverse artificial pancreas research projects, with the goal of aiding the development of multiple, reliable treatment choices for people living with T1D, as well as helping people have broad access to the resulting products.

“This announcement is a historic achievement for JDRF. After years of laying the ground work, this breakthrough is a testament to the reason JDRF exists – to help people with T1D lead better, safer, healthier lives while we continue on the path to cure and prevent the disease altogether,” said JDRF CEO Derek Rapp. “It marks a major accomplishment in one of our highest priority research areas.”

“As part of our commitment to improving diabetes care, the FDA worked interactively with Medtronic from the earliest stages of development to assist in making this technology available to people with type 1 diabetes as quickly as possible,” said Alberto Gutierrez, Ph.D., director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “We encourage companies to work closely with the agency to ensure scientifically sound, highly efficient clinical study designs, helping to expedite the FDA’s evaluation and subsequent approval of novel devices that can make a difference for patients.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Also known as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. Because the pancreas does not make insulin in people with type 1 diabetes, patients have to consistently monitor their glucose levels throughout the day and have insulin therapy through injection with a syringe, an insulin pen or insulin pump to avoid becoming hyperglycemic (high glucose levels). In addition, management of type 1 diabetes includes following a healthy eating plan and physical activity.

The device is manufactured by Medtronic MiniMed (NYSE: MDT).


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(1) Reader Comment

  1. In July of 2015, it was discovered that I had type 2 diabetes. By the end of the month, I was given a prescription for Metformin. I stated the ADA diet and followed it completely for several weeks but was unable to get my blood sugar below 140. With no results to how for my hard work, I panicked and called my doctor. His response? Deal with it. I began to feel that something wasn’t right and do my own research. Then I found Rachel’s blog http://curediabetespro.gq/ . I read it from cover to cover and I started the diet and by the next morning, my blood sugar was 100. Since then, I have a fasting reading between the mid 70s and 80s. My doctor was so surprised at the results that, the next week, he took me off the Metformin. I lost 30 pounds in the first month and lost more than 6 inches off my waist and I’m able to work out twice a day while still having lots of energy. The truth is we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods.