Bigfoot Biomedical announced today that it acquired a reinforcement learning algorithm for insulin titration from McGill University.
Developers at McGill designed the algorithm to observe how well people with insulin-requiring diabetes respond to a particular dose. It provides a recommended adjustment based on the body’s response.
Milpitas, California-based Bigfoot said the developers built the algorithm to grow smarter over time. It could help healthcare professionals improve diabetes care by helping patients determine how much insulin to take and when.
An in-silico retrospective study conducted at McGill applied the algorithm to Bigfoot Unity user data. Bigfoot Unity is Bigfoot Biomedical’s product aimed at simplifying CGMs and the data they produce. It features a smart insulin pen cap, which takes data from a CGM and informs the patient exactly how much insulin they need.
The study of data from 20 patients evaluated the algorithm’s ability to predict appropriate insulin dosing adjustments. Study results demonstrated accurate predictions for how the patients’ healthcare provider adjusted their insulin dose.
“The retrospective study performed by the McGill University team demonstrates strong promise for the algorithm’s ability to help further simplify diabetes management,” said Jeffrey Brewer, CEO of Bigfoot Biomedical. “We look forward to the responsibility of taking the necessary next steps to bring their innovation to the diabetes community, including research and development to incorporate the algorithm into the Bigfoot Unity platform and collaborating with the FDA on the appropriate regulatory pathway.”
More action for Bigfoot Biomedical
Less than two years ago, Bigfoot Biomedical launched its Bigfoot Unity platform in some U.S. states. Last year, Brewer called it a “transformational attempt” to simplify CGMs and the data they produce to tell people how much insulin to take at a given point in time.
Just last month, the company made another play to further enhance this platform. Bigfoot sold pump-based automated insulin delivery technology patents to pump maker Insulet for $25 million. This asset sale generated significant funds to expand the Bigfoot Unity diabetes management system. Within weeks, Bigfoot received FDA clearance for the Android mobile app for Bigfoot Unity.
The company said it aims to expand access by offering Bigfoot Unity through the pharmacy channel later this year.
“As a scientist, there’s no greater reward than seeing your innovations have a concrete, meaningful impact on society,” said Ahmad Haider, associate professor of biomedical engineering and medicine at McGill University. “I’m thrilled at the opportunity to see Bigfoot Biomedical, with its strong commitment to simplifying diabetes management, bring our technology to people with insulin-requiring diabetes, a condition that impacts an estimated 72 million people worldwide.”