The FDA has approved the first automated insulin delivery device, also known as an artificial pancreas, which adjusts insulin levels with little or no input from the user.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system, the first FDA-approved device that is intended to automatically monitor glucose (sugar) and provide appropriate basal insulin doses in people 14 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes.
The human pancreas naturally supplies a low, continuous rate of insulin, known as basal or background insulin. In patients with diabetes, the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired.
“The FDA is dedicated to making technologies available that can help improve the quality of life for those with chronic diseases – especially those that require day-to-day maintenance and ongoing attention,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “This first-of-its-kind technology can provide people with type 1 diabetes greater freedom to live their lives without having to consistently and manually monitor baseline glucose levels and administer insulin.”
The MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system, often referred to as an “artificial pancreas,” is intended to adjust insulin levels with little or no input from the user. It works by measuring glucose levels every five minutes and automatically administering or withholding insulin. The system includes a sensor that attaches to the body to measure glucose levels under the skin; an insulin pump strapped to the body; and an infusion patch connected to the pump with a catheter that delivers insulin. While the device automatically adjusts insulin levels, users need to manually request insulin doses to counter carbohydrate (meal) consumption.
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According to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Also known as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. Because the pancreas does not make insulin in people with type 1 diabetes, patients have to consistently monitor their glucose levels throughout the day and have insulin therapy through injection with a syringe, an insulin pen or insulin pump to avoid becoming hyperglycemic (high glucose levels). In addition, management of type 1 diabetes includes following a healthy eating plan and physical activity.
“As part of our commitment to improving diabetes care, the FDA worked interactively with Medtronic from the earliest stages of development to assist in making this technology available to people with type 1 diabetes as quickly as possible,” said Alberto Gutierrez, Ph.D., director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “We encourage companies to work closely with the agency to ensure scientifically sound, highly efficient clinical study designs, helping to expedite the FDA’s evaluation and subsequent approval of novel devices that can make a difference for patients.”
The FDA evaluated data from a clinical trial of the MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system that included 123 participants with type 1 diabetes. The clinical trial included an initial two-week period where the system’s hybrid closed loop was not used followed by a three-month study during which trial participants used the system’s hybrid closed loop feature as frequently as possible. This clinical trial showed that the device is safe for use in people 14 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes. No serious adverse events, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or severe hypoglycemia (low glucose levels) were reported during the study.
Risks associated with use of the system may include hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, as well as skin irritation or redness around the device’s infusion patch. This version of this device is unsafe for use in children 6 years of age or younger and in patients who require less than eight units of insulin per day.
As part of this approval, the FDA is requiring a post-market study to better understand how the device performs in real-world settings. While the device is being approved today for use in people 14 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes, Medtronic is currently performing clinical studies to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the device in diabetic children 7-13 years old.
The MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system is manufactured by Medtronic, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.