Diabetes management company Welldoc is teaming up with Eli Lilly on a new licensing and collaboration agreement that promises to integrate the former’s software into the pharma company’s insulin products, which are still in the pipeline.
The partners plan on creating a new version of Welldoc’s BlueStar, an app-based diabetes management platform that will be able to integrate insulin dosing data for Lilly insulin products.
Specifically, the pair will be working to integrate the software and Lilly’s connected insulin pens, which are still under development. The idea is that Lilly Pen users will be able to tap into Blue Star for personalized data and to connect with their provider about their health.
The partnership has a regulatory component for each part. The pharma giant will be submitting to the data transfer module, and the diabetes management company will be submitting the new app.
WHY IT MATTERS
The companies are pitching this as a way for individuals with diabetes to better manage their care. According to the CDC, 34.2 million US adults have diabetes, and it is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Proper management of the condition can cut down on the risks associated with the condition.
“Today, less than half of people who use insulins are achieving their target A1C goals. We want to simplify the experience of using insulin by integrating our medicines with the most innovative technology available,” Marie Schiller, vice president of product development for Connected Care and Insulins at Lilly, said in a statement.
“We are excited to collaborate with Welldoc. Together, we will combine their advanced software capabilities and expansive insulin management features with our connected insulin pen solutions, with the goal of easing the burden of diabetes care on people living with the condition.”
THE LARGER TREND
First launched in 2013, Welldoc’s Blue Star has a long history of FDA clearances. More recently, in 2020, it added its eighth 510(K) clearance to add long-acting basal insulin support for Type 2 patients. It also has a history of teaming up with pharma and med tech companies.
In 2019 it made an integration deal with CGM maker Dexcom. That same year the company teamed up with pharma company Astellas in a commercialization development deal that sought to bring BlueStar to East Asia.
Eli Lilly has also been looking to the digital space. In 2017 the company landed FDA clearance for its insulin-dose-calculator app.