In an interview with PharmaShots, Marie Schiller Vice President of Product Development for Connected Care and Insulins at Lilly shared her views on its collaboration with Welldoc to integrate Welldoc’s insulin management technology into Lilly’s connected insulin solutions.
- Lilly and Welldoc are teaming up to create a new version of Welldoc’s BlueStar app which will be integrated into Lilly’s connected insulin solutions to support personalized insulin dosing and provide people with diabetes insights to help manage their condition.
- Lilly will commercialize the pen platform, which will include the new app and Lilly’s connected insulin pen solutions
- The company aims to aim to commercialize the initial pen platform in the US in 2022
Tuba: What motivates Lilly to collaborate with Welldoc? What makes them a great partner?
Marie: Our collaboration with Welldoc marks a new chapter in our rich history of creating solutions for the millions of people living with diabetes. We are committed to continuously leveraging technology in new ways to help simplify insulin delivery for people with diabetes. We choose to collaborate with Welldoc because its innovative BlueStar software has many of the features we have identified as high value for users and will allow us to accelerate the solutions we provide to the diabetes community. Given our rich history in providing diabetes solutions and Welldoc’s sophisticated software, we feel confident that the end product resulting from this partnership will contribute to easing the burden of diabetes care on those living with the condition.
Tuba: Can you shed some light on your collaboration with Welldoc? Will you be able to unveil the financial terms of the deal?
Marie: We are collaborating with Welldoc to integrate its BlueStar app capabilities into our connected insulin solutions. Together, under the terms of the agreement, we will create a new version of the BlueStar insulin management solution that integrates insulin dosing data for several Lilly insulins. Lilly will commercialize the pen platform, which will include the new app and Lilly’s connected insulin pen solutions. While the agreement is global, we are focusing our immediate efforts on launching the platform in the U.S.
We are not currently disclosing the financial terms of the deal.
Tuba: Can you provide perspective on launch timing?
Marie: Our newest insulin pen, which is intended to be used with our data transfer module, was approved by the FDA in late 2019. Our data transfer module – which will attach to the top of the insulin pen – will function through Bluetooth technology, allowing data transfer to the app. We plan to submit the data transfer module to the FDA this year while and Welldoc plans to submit the new app. If cleared, we aim to commercialize the initial pen platform in the U.S. in 2022.
Tuba: Highlight the features of Welldoc’s existing BlueStar App.
Marie: BlueStar is an app made by Welldoc for adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes that delivers tailored, data-driven insights to improve long-term outcomes. The app has both prescription and non-prescription features such as insulin titration support, a bolus calculator, personalized health coaching, and tracking data such as diet, exercise and glucose levels.
Tuba: What specification will patients get in the new version of the BlueStar app?
Marie: Insulin dosing data from our prefilled, disposable insulin pen will be transmitted to the app via a data transfer module attached to the top of the pen. When the module is paired with the compatible app, it will automatically transfer insulin dosing data. The app will aggregate various dimensions of personalized data, including secondary data display from Dexcom G6 CGMs, and connect with healthcare providers to deliver actionable insights and provide new opportunities to optimize diabetes care.
Tuba: Which insulin pens will be compatible with the platform?
Marie: This platform will be compatible with our newest insulin pen that is a modified version of KwikPen, our existing prefilled, disposable insulin pen. This new insulin pen was approved by the FDA in late 2019. It will be made available with select insulins in our suite of treatments and eventually be the foundation of our pen platform, currently in development.
Tuba: Which Lilly insulins can be used with the pen platform?
Marie: Our goal is to launch the pen platform with Basaglar(insulin glargine injection, 100 units/mL), Humalog (insulin lispro injection, 100 units/mL), and Lyumjev(insulin lispro-aabc injection, 100 units/mL). We will continue to evaluate the need to add insulins, including HumalogU-200 (insulin lispro injection, 200 units/mL).
Tuba: How will your collaboration help patients dealing with diabetes?
Marie: For people with diabetes who use insulin, the mental math in deciding how much insulin to dose can be complex. This collaboration will allow us to offer people living with the condition more options for simplified insulin delivery through our connected care solutions.
Tuba: What are different techniques to deliver insulin? Which one is more recommended?
Marie: There are many different techniques to deliver insulin and all forms are effective. Individuals should consult with their physician to determine which delivery method is best suited for them based on their treatment plan.
Tuba: What are Lilly’s other efforts to make life better for people with diabetes?
Marie: We have a rich history of creating solutions for the millions of people living with diabetes. As the first company to commercialize insulin in 1923, we have made great strides in providing more targeted solutions for people with diabetes from advanced and innovative new medicines to connected care solutions, but there is still more work to be done.
We understand there is no one-size-fits-all approach to diabetes management and are excited for the potential of our solutions to better simplify this process for those living with the condition, their caregivers and healthcare providers. Looking to the future, we are committed to continued innovation in an effort to help people with diabetes achieve better health outcomes, including improved blood sugar control and management of related conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
Tuba: Can we expect more collaborations from Lilly that supports patients’ journey with diabetes?
Marie: Yes. We are constantly seeking for ways to improve the lives of people with diabetes. As part of that mission, we regularly evaluate opportunities for collaborations with other technology companies in the diabetes space to deliver the best solutions possible. We’re excited about our recent partnerships with Welldoc to build our connected pen platform as well as Ypsomed to commercialize an AID system and look forward to sharing more updates in the coming months about our other collaborations to bring connected diabetes solutions to people worldwide.
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Marie Schiller is the Vice President, Connected Care and Insulins Product Development of Eli Lilly. She leads Lilly’s development efforts for Diabetes Connected Care and insulins.