Ascensia bets on CGMs

As part of partnership, company provides up to $50M in financing to Senseonics
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Friday, September 4, 2020

BASEL, Switzerland – Ascensia’s new partnership with Senseonics is a big nod to continuous glucose monitors as the next best step in diabetes management. 

In August, Ascensia partnered with Senseonics to distribute its implantable CGM systems, including the Eversense and Eversense XL and future generation products, broadening its product portfolio beyond blood glucose monitoring systems, including its popular Contour line. 

“We certainly have a vision to be able to grow in the BGM space, (but) the technology has evolved in CGMs,” said Robert Schumm, president of Ascensia Diabetes Care US and Diabetes Management Domain Head. “It’s important for us to play into that if we want to deliver solutions for people with diabetes.”  

There are currently several CGMs on the market, including the Dexcom and the Freestyle Libre, which feature sensors that are approved for up to 10 days and 14 days, respectively. Senseonics is focused on long-term implantable devices – the Eversense is approved for up to 90 days. In February, Senseonics received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to study the safety and accuracy of a 365-day sensor. 

Under the terms of the partnership, Ascensia and its parent company, PHC Holdings, will provide financing of up to $50 million to Senseonics. 

“People who’ve used Eversense love it,” said Schumm. “You’ve got something that has captured the imagination of people. We have an extremely accurate BGM and Eversense is also recognized as perhaps the most accurate CGM. That’s a good synergy there.” 

There’s a race in diabetes management to find new ways to create better outcomes and reduce the cost burden on the health care system, says Schumm, and partnerships such as the one between Ascensia and Senseonics will likely play a key role in further innovation. 

“The future of diabetes technology will probably come more from connecting the dots rather than a major breakthrough,” he said. “If you go to a diabetes congress you see all the companies that are focused on diabetes and they each have a small piece of that picture. I think the alliances and partnerships in the industry are going to drive the future as well as the connectivity of the data.”