** UPDATE: Cellnovo announced on March 29, 2019 that it would be ceasing all production, manufacturing, and marketing of its hybrid patch-tubed pump, and the device would not be offered to any new patients.
The U.S. diabetes world has long been awaiting the next patch pump that would bring some competition to the popular Omnipod tubeless insulin delivery device. But is progress on closed loop and “Artificial Pancreas” technology perhaps slowing the introduction of another pump choice in the American market?
UK-based Cellnovo has been promising a new type of ‘hybrid patch pump’ for years – dating back to 2011. It finally hit the international market several years ago, and just recently launched in Australia. The company continues promising a launch in the U.S. soon, but that never seems to materialize, even as it moves forward on its closed loop tech – suggesting that Cellnovo may be dragging its feet on introducing its first-gen stand-alone pump to market here in favor of waiting to launch its broader CGM-integrated solution.
(Enter frustrated sigh here…)
Cellnovo actually did submit its 510(k) paperwork to the FDA in November 2016, and the regulatory agency has apparently asked for more data and clarifications. During its third quarter earnings call, Cellnovo execs said they “remain optimistic” for FDA approval at some point in 2018.
But based on recent news reports, Cellnovo could spring on the closed loop scene before long. So maybe they’re holding out for a bigger launch? And just maybe it’ll be worth the wait…?
Cellnovo: A ‘Hybrid’ Micro Pump
The product is not exactly a patch pump as those familiar with Omnipod have come to think of them. Rather, this Cellnovo device consists of a short infusion set that attaches to a small rectangular pump roughly the size of a tea bag. It looks like it dangles from the body, but in fact, it adheres to the skin with built-in adhesive.
So it’s sort of a mashup of a tubed and non-tubed pump, which the company insists offers the best of both worlds, with the following features:
- it’s small and discreet, with basal and bolus dosing commanded via a handheld color touchscreen controller, which also has an integrated blood glucose meter
- just like with Omnipod, there are no buttons on the micro-pump, but if you forget the controller, the pump continues delivering basal
- because it delivers insulin via infusion set, it can be detached and reattached
- the handheld controller connects to the Web, updating data in near real-time and allowing users to log carb and exercise info. It also allows for real-time monitoring by family members and healthcare professionals
- on the downside, it holds a max of just 150 units for three days (vs. Omnipod, which holds up to 200 units)
- the current system uses ANT technology for communication between the handset and pump, and the handset is connected to “Cellnovo Online” cellular network with those costs covered entirely by the company.
We’re also told…