Abbott Laboratories ABT recently entered a collaboration with biopharmaceutical major, Sanofi SNY. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will integrate glucose sensing and insulin delivery technologies, which would help to further simplify the management of diabetes.
The companies are planning to adopt a pioneering approach to connected care by developing tools, which combine the revolutionary FreeStyle Libre technology with Sanofi′s insulin dosing information for future smart pens, insulin titration apps and cloud software.
Abbott, a major player in the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) business, believes that diabetes is an information-rich condition, with various streams of data from various devices. Given this scenario, the company plans to utilize this opportunity to help patients by developing new and improved tools for diabetes care and management.
The partnership is expected to improve Abbott’s foothold in the global CGM market.
Rationale Behind the Partnership
Through this partnership, the companies aim to build a digital ecosystem around FreeStyle Libre, thus consolidating how patients access their data. This can be done by simplifying user experience through Abbott′s digital health tools, and working with other diabetes and technology leaders.
How Does This Work?
Abbott plans to utilize the non-exclusive alliance to enable data sharing in the initial phase, with the user’s consent. The data will be shared between Abbott′s FreeStyle Libre mobile app and cloud software, and Sanofi′s connected insulin pens, apps and cloud software, which are currently in the development stage. The data-sharing will help patients with diabetes as well as doctors to make better decisions regarding their treatment, nutrition and lifestyle.
Sanofi, which already has a robust portfolio of medicines, has been in the diabetes care business for quite a long time. The association with Abbott helps it move a step closer to providing better control and quality of life decision for patients through customized glycemic management of diabetes.
Recent Developments in Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre
The company has been hogging the limelight for developments in its flagship, sensor-based CGM system — FreeStyle Libre System. United States Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") granted FreeStyle Libre for Medicare coverage. Post this approval, FreeStyle Libre became the only no user calibration CGM device under the Medicare coverage, available for around 30 million diabetic patients in the United States. At present, in the United States alone, FreeStyle Libre is reimbursed for approximately 75% of people with private pharmacy benefit insurance.
With this reimbursement approval, FreeStyle Libre becomes the first sensor-based glucose monitoring system to be listed by any provincial health plan in Canada. The company also announced the receipt of national reimbursement for FreeStyle Libre in the U.K. This marked another milestone for Abbott.
With its proven accuracy and easy-to-use features, the FreeStyle Libre system seems a perfect substitute for traditional blood glucose monitoring and allows patients to dose insulin based on the results.
Per a report by Polaris Market Research published in MarketWatch, the global CGM market size is estimated to reach approximately $1,325.9 million by 2025, at a CAGR of 15.8% between 2019 and 2025. The major factor, driving growth of the market, is increasing incidences of diabetes around the world and the subsequent awareness about the same.
Given the current market prospects about diabetes management, the collaboration has come at just the right time.
Share Price Performance
The company has gained 21.9% in the past year against the industry’s decline of 1.3%. The S&P 500 index rallied 2.2% during the same period.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Currently, Abbott carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. CAPR and GW Pharmaceuticals PLC GWPH.
Capricor, with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a projected third-quarter 2019 earnings growth rate of 28.2%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
GW Pharmaceuticals estimates third-quarter earnings growth rate to be 72.9%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.
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