This week, we highlight a breakthrough tubeless insulin pump which received Food and Drug Administration clearance. We also look at a telehealth pharmacy booming during the pandemic, potential breakthroughs in neurovascular research, the disparity of Asian scientists’ contributions and recognition in biomedical research, and continued calls to increase clinical trial cost disclosures.
Each week, we highlight five things you need to know about in the life sciences industry. Here’s the latest.
Insulet has received FDA clearance for their Omnipod 5 tubeless insulin pump. The device is controlled by a smartphone and paired with Dexcom’s G6 continuous glucose monitor to provide automated insulin delivery. The devices monitor blood glucose levels every five minutes and automate the release of insulin to eliminate the need for manual blood readings and injections. The company has plans to expand the service offering to children as young as 2 and support type 2 diabetes.
San Francisco-based Alto Pharmacy has raised $200 million in their series E funding round. The capital raise was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund and will help the company further expand their service offering and compete with retail giants. The company now operates in 12 major markets and seeks to provide low-cost prescription service with free same-day delivery. The company has grown rapidly over the last two years in response to demand from consumers during the pandemic for virtual care solutions.
Scientist from the University of California, San Francisco, have mapped the brain and discovered 40 new cell types that appear to be linked to neurovascular diseases. The researchers believe that by manipulating the immune system associated with these cells, it may be possible to reduce the risk of these diseases and prevent things like stroke. Details of their findings can be found here in the Jan. 27 issue of Science.
Groundbreaking research by Asian scientists has historically not been recognized by top award committees
There is a disparity in the recognition of Asian scientists with top scientific prizes. Making up more than 20% of the biomedical researchers in the U.S., less than 7% of the top scientific prizes have gone to Asian scientists. This recognition does not align with the groundbreaking research performed by Asian scientists. According to the article, more than 14% of highly cited scientists in biomedical science are Asian, as are 15% to 25% of the recipients of highly coveted research grants to scientists at the cutting-edge of research.
Amid the never-ending conversation on drug pricing, there is increasing pressure for federally funded clinical trials to provide cost disclosures to the public. Led by Doctors Without Borders, international nonprofits and doctor groups sent a Jan. 31 letter to the Biden administration urging the nomination of a National Institutes of Health director who will ensure the disclosure of such cost information.