On June 7, 2017, Medtronic (MDT) announced the launch of MiniMed 670G—the world’s first HCL (hybrid closed loop) insulin delivery system. It can be used for patients suffering from type 1 diabetes. The device was approved by the FDA on September 28, 2016—104 days after Medtronic submitted the PMA (premarket approval) application. MiniMed 670G features Medtronic’s Guardian sensor 3 and uses the company’s SmartGuard HCL algorithm. For more details on the device’s features, read Medtronic’s Latest Developments on the Diabetes Front.
Medtronic initiated a Customer Training Phase in March 2017 and launched the device at limited US sites ahead of the full launch. The trial resulted in excellent feedback on user experience, clinical outcomes, and system performance. Due to earlier-than-expected approval, the company faced temporary disruption in diabetes sales over the last few quarters. However, Medtronic expects to register high diabetes sales growth with device’s launch. For Medtronic’s 1Q17 diabetes segment results, read Medtronic’s Diabetes Segment Sales: Must-Read Drivers in 1Q17.
Next week, Medtronic will start shipping orders to customers enrolled in the Priority Access Program before fulfilling new orders. The Priority Access Program offers certain customers a priority upgrade from the MiniMed 630G system to MiniMed 670G.
Medtronic stated that the device is a big step towards developing a fully automated insulin delivery system, also called an “artificial pancreas.” With MiniMed 670G, patients have to manage insulin manually during meals according to the food they eat. Dexcom (DXCM) and Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Animas division are Medtronic’s major competitors. They’re trying to develop an artificial pancreas with better automation to enhance ease of use and efficiency. Boston Scientific (BSX) is another major player in the diabetes space. Investors can invest in the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) for focused exposure to Medtronic and its peers. XLV has ~4.1% of its total holdings in Medtronic.