Globally, more than 460 million adults suffer from diabetes according to the International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes high blood sugar or glucose levels, which in turn lead to numerous health issues. People with diabetes need to check their sugar levels in a drop of blood drawn from their finger several times a day. Or they need to apply every week or every other week a new patch with a sensor on their skin, with a needle that pierces the skin, (Continuous Glucose Monitoring or CGM). Both of these options can be quite a hassle.
"People with diabetes often find that the current methods of monitoring their blood sugar levels are unpleasant. The finger pricking is painful, the CGM patch is visible and stigmatizing, and requires a lot of maintenance and interaction. We want to fundamentally change this with our sensor. Diabetes will no longer need to be visible. Our sensor will sit under the skin, not on the skin. In addition, our invisible sensor will measure ketones on top of glucose levels. This unique combination will enable the users, along with their healthcare providers, to better respond to rising or falling sugar values and also detect life-threatening ketoacidosis."
Danaë Delbeke, Indigo Diabetes founder and CEO
Small receiver in trouser pocket or handbag will warn of too high or low sugar levels
Indigo Diabetes's unique sensor aims at enabling people with diabetes to return to a normal lifestyle. Just like healthy people, they will again be able to enjoy sports or a day at the seaside, as there is no sensor patch that can fail or detach from the skin due to water or sweat.
"By equipping our sensor with photonics technology, in which light beams are the signal and information carrier instead of electrical pulses, we are able to monitor two different biomarkers. From a medical point of view, this is a big step forward. A doctor will fit the small sensor underneath the skin where it will stay for up to two years. It will transmit the data to the receiver, which the user keeps in his or her pocket, handbag or on the bedside table, and will emit a warning signal if values become too high or too low. This will make finger pricking or frequent sensor patch replacements a thing of the past, as the entire process will be taking place discreetly out of sight."
Danaë Delbeke, CEO Indigo Diabetes
38 million euros to test the sensor on people
Last week, Indigo Diabetes has completed a second financing round in which it raised 38 million euros from various investors. Following the promising preclinical results, this investment will enable the company to start clinical trials in Europe and the United States. Indigo Diabetes expects to be granted market authorization from the regulatory authorities by the end of 2023.
Indigo is collaborating amongst others with Professor Dr. Christophe De Block, Head of the Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases Department at Antwerp University Hospital (UZA),
"For people with type 1 diabetes, but also people with type 2 diabetes who need insulin treatment, this application will give a much better insight into the correct insulin doses and treatment times required to keep sugar levels steady. If we could link this to an insulin pump in the longer term, this would create an autopilot, so to speak, whereby people with diabetes would no longer be required to intervene or adjust anything at all."
Professor dr. Christophe De Block
Complete list of investors in alphabetical order:
Ackermans & van Haaren
Capricorn Digital Growth Fund
Qbic Arkiv Fund
Thuja Capital Healthcare Fund II