Support it or squash it? J&J acquires Calibra Medical

Calibra Medical, Inc., out of Redwood City, CA, has been working on a small, wearable, three-day patch pump designed to offer additional options for those that take mealtime insulin doses. It is surprising to me that there isn't much information available on this product. The best source of information I found is a great write-up by Bernard Farrell, a fellow diabetes blogger and good friend of mine, from March of 2010, who talked with the marketing vice-president at Calibra Medical.

According to Bernard's post, this is a very sleek, small, manual insulin delivery device, delivering in full-unit increments. It contains no electronics, which makes it small and easy to learn. Insulin capacity is said to be 200 units. This is a bolus only device, so if you require basal insulin, you'll still need to address that.

It seems to be aimed at the huge (and growing) market for people living with type 2 diabetes who need a little mealtime insulin to help improve glucose control. There are also a number of interesting off-label uses for something like this, such as Symlin, Byetta or Victoza delivery, which Bernard also mentioned in his post.

Johnson & Johnson acquires Calibra Medical, Inc.

I think it is very questionable whether a market of people stereotypically resistant to needles and insulin would be willing to wear something like this on their body for three days. I do, however, agree that it is much easier to bolus discretely with a device like this than with pens or a syringe and vial. Maybe that angle is one of their strong points.

I'm no market expert (I'm just a guy living with diabetes), but seeing that we haven't heard any forward progress about this device since early 2010, I think the recent Johnson & Johnson acquisition is a good thing. Maybe Johnson & Johnson will be able to direct some resources, both financial and otherwise, towards getting this product on the streets.

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