CeQur designed its Simplicity device to make insulin delivery as seamless as possible for people with diabetes.
When it comes to managing diabetes, CeQur wants to make insulin therapy as convenient as possible. For those who prefer to manage their own insulin delivery, the Simplicity device might just do exactly that.
Simplicity, a wearable, disposable bolus insulin delivery system, was developed as, essentially, a wearable insulin pen. CeQur began a pilot commercial launch for the FDA-cleared and CE-marked device in early 2021, which concluded just last month, and now the company is entering the next phase of a limited market release. In April of last year, the company raised $115 million to support that launch and scale up manufacturing.
For those on the receiving end of the launch, CeQur CEO Brad Paddock said virtually nothing changes.
“They manage it however they were before,” Paddock told Drug Delivery Business News. “Now, they just have a different device to ensure that they don’t miss their injection.”
What is CeQur Simplicity?
Worn for three days, the Simplicity device is filled by the patient with Humalog or Novolog. After the three-day wear period, the user disposes of the device, fills another one and places it on the abdomen.
The device holds 200 “units” of insulin and, with two little buttons on each side, each “click” of the button delivers two units. Paddock said the easiest way to think of it is a wearable insulin pen.
Simplicity’s features include fewer painful injections, less hassle at mealtime, improved glucose control, encouraged adherence, better time in range and more, according to the company.
“You can shower swim, do normal daily activities, and you have your insulin with you all the time,” Paddock said. “The major unmet need for the population of patients that we’re going after is that they forget to take their insulin. They either leave it at home, leave it in the car or they don’t want to inject in front of other people. We basically, by providing the convenience and discreetness, were able to make it such that patients can take their mealtime insulin and not miss any doses.”
While the current technology offers a potentially game-changing insulin management avenue, there remain things that CeQur may look to do down the road. That could include dosing in different increments and a wear time that lasts longer than three days.
Paddock said the company is also surprised by the fact that a third of the 1,500 patients using Simplicity today are in the type 1 diabetes population, even though there can be gravitation in that area toward automated insulin delivery.
“Although we are really focused on the type 2 market, we have found that there are quite a few type 1 patients that are also enjoying the benefits of the technology,” Paddock said. “Those patients who may want connectivity, that’s something we do very easily, but it sort of goes against our “simplicity” proposition, so I don’t think it’s something we plan to do any time soon, but as a line extension or a market-expanding opportunity down the road, we can very easily connect to a smartphone and begin to measure and create a manual closed loop, so to speak.”
A class of its own
While there are tons of various insulin delivery devices to choose from on the market, and many different roads down which diabetes patients can travel in terms of methods, the CeQur Simplicity stands out on its own, Paddock says.
“We don’t really view ourselves as having any competition,” Paddock said. “If you look on the market, there’s only one other three-day wearable insulin delivery device, and that’s [Insulet’s] Omnipod.”
Ultimately, while Omnipod has had great success in the type 1 population and some in type 2, Paddock said, there is still a pull toward devices like Simplicity for those who don’t feel they need automated insulin delivery. Most of the patients CeQur treats, the CEO said, aren’t in that market for automated insulin delivery, so the company views itself as complementary to Omnipod, rather than competing against it.
He said that patients love the low profile and light weight of the device as it can be worn under clothing and can’t be felt, for instance, when the user rolls over in bed at night. And, another important feature is simple training that makes patient onboarding easy.
“We know that 95% of the patients don’t need or want an insulin pump,” Paddock said. “They want something that can help them deliver insulin when they need to deliver insulin in a convenient and discreet manner — a very simple way.”
A consumer-driven product
One major factor in the diabetes technology space remains that, while these are devices that fulfill the needs of diabetes patients, the user has to choose how they want to manage their chronic condition and which devices suit them best.
“They are medical devices. They are also consumer devices,” Benjamin said. “We live at the intersection of those two things. Diabetes is such a personal experience and decisions are influenced by the care team but the ultimate choice is made by the person with diabetes. That’s central to how we think about it.”
CeQur lives at the same intersection.
Paddock said they view Simplicity as a “consumer-driven product,” and testing direct-to-consumer advertising has proven very effective in capturing patient interest. With its pharmacy channel access, Paddock noted that CeQur can get patients on the product quite easily.
“Users are just changing one thing and one thing only: instead of delivering their bolus insulin in a pen, they’re delivering it in a patch,” Paddock said. “They’re using the same insulin and using the same amount of insulin. They’re taking it at the same time. Very little is changing for the patient other than the delivery device that they’re using. It just makes that whole process very easy.”