JDRF, which a leading organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, announced an Industry Development and Discovery Partnership supporting South Korea's EOFlow in the development of a wearable, disposable automated insulin delivery patch device for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D).
EOFlow recently received Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) approval on its wearable insulin pump system, EOPatch. The product incorporates a proprietary electroosmotic pumping technology which allows it to be smaller and lighter and the company plans to build on this strength to create a small automated insulin delivery device suitable for children's use.
"Innovation in automated insulin delivery devices and artificial pancreas (AP) systems will help to significantly improve health and quality of life for people with T1D," Jaime Giraldo, Ph.D., JDRF Research Scientist, said in a statement. "Next-generation wearable designs that are smaller and employ user-centric design will remove barriers that prevent some people, especially small children, from using these life-saving and life-changing glucose management devices."
EOFlow will use the funding to develop and run clinical studies on the wearable device, which consists of an insulin pump and an integrated continuous glucose sensor, which is run by a closed-loop program that autonomously regulates the blood glucose level with minimal user input. This is the first time JDRF is granting funds to EOFlow for research and is also the first time that JDRF is funding a company in Korea.
"JDRF is a partner that believes in our vision of a small, practical, fully functional artificial pancreas system that can be used by anyone with T1D to help live a fuller life," said EOFlow's CEO Jesse Kim.
Since JDRF launched the Artificial Pancreas Project more than a decade ago, significant progress has been made in automating insulin delivery. However, a major factor when considering AP therapy is that the system becomes a major part of the life of a person with T1D. Current system hardware is bulky and either in direct contact, tethered to, or in very close proximity to the body, which may be barriers to the subsequent widescale adoption of AP systems. This factor is especially compounded in children, where skin real estate is at a premium.
JDRF wishes to reduce obstacles preventing AP system use for people with diabetes, in part by reducing on-body burden. In addition, now that AP systems have been consistently demonstrating sufficient safety and efficacy, user centric design is becoming an important consideration to be addressed in next-generation AP systems. These ease-of-use factors include minimizing the number of steps to fill, replace and install AP system components; integrating various AP system components into a single device to reduce the burden of managing disparate components at different intervals; and the size of the wearable devices.