Based on these results, Damiano explained that the bionic pancreas would deliver mean HbA1c levels of around 6.5% in children and adults with type 1 diabetes while significantly and simultaneously reducing hypoglycemia relative to the current standard of care.

Damiano and his team plan to start the final clinical trial with the more portable, fully integrated unit in 2016. They are targeting late 2017 to bring the device to market.

‘A Game-Changer’

Farhad Zangeneh, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and the medical director of the Endocrine, Diabetes and Osteoporosis Clinic in Sterling, Virginia, said the latest model looks quite promising. However, he said it is clearly not the final product.  

“This is version 1.0. We can’t have expectations that are too high, but it is an excellent start. It will become modified, and we will learn from it,” Zangeneh said in an interview with Endocrinology Advisor. “This is a start in the right direction, and it will impact a large number of patients with type 1 diabetes. I think it will be a game-changer.”

R. Mack Harrell, MD, who is the Immediate Past President of AACE, agrees with Zangeneh and said endocrinologists are now playing a key role in helping usher in this new technology. We are now entering a new era in the management of diabetes, he noted. 

“The bionic pancreas is not just an item of interest to endocrinologists; it is our future and our patients’ future. The bionic pancreas is the technological bridge to a cure for type 1 diabetes, and it cannot be deployed in a vacuum,” Harrell said.

“Proper deployment and use will require a carefully trained and expanded workforce of endocrine physicians uniquely devoted to the patient-physician relationship in diabetes care. The American College of Endocrinology (ACE) is ready to take the lead in training our physicians and patients nationwide,” he told Endocrinology Advisor.

Reference

  1. Damiano ER. TGS1: Outpatient Studies of the Bionic Pancreas in Adults, Adolescents, and Pre-Adolescents. Presented at: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 24th Annual Scientific & Clinical Congress; May 13-17, 2015; Nashville, Tenn.