As we enter what may be the “new normal,” Dexcom’s CEO bets the company can pave the way in continuous glucose monitoring.
Dexcom (NSDQ:DXCM), like any company seeking to innovate, remains in a state of perpetual forward motion.
That’s the way chair, president & CEO Kevin Sayer views it, anyway. As the company looks toward the future, the G7 continuous glucose monitor is the next big thing.
San Diego–based Dexcom’s latest iteration of its CGM system — building on the G6, which first won FDA approval in 2018 — has inspired plenty of optimism, both within the ranks of Dexcom and likely among customers, too.
“The enthusiasm here is at an all-time high for a new product,” Sayer told Drug Delivery Business News. “We’re ready to go. It’s really going to be wonderful.”
Data presented during the 14th International Conference on Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD) highlighted the accuracy and time-in-range capabilities of the G7. Sayer said that the data presented at ATTD was “better than any G6 data” the company presented before.
The G7 wearable CGM — which is roughly the size of a coin — measures 60% smaller than the G6. It contains a smaller all-in-one sensor applicator and transmitter with a 30-minute warm-up time before use, according to Dexcom. It also possesses interoperability with insulin delivery devices as it maintains accuracy.
Sayer pointed out that automated insulin delivery is a part of the future of diabetes care, although there will always be those who prefer manual injections. The compatibility of the G7 with those automated devices provides even more flexibility for diabetes patients.
“What our goal needs to be is to find the solutions to meet everyone’s needs,” Sayer said. “As we look to develop our company and our apps going forward, we’re looking at designing multiple experiences for people. If this is what you want, this is what we can offer you.”
Sayer said users are thrilled with some of the features, including one-button insertion, meaning there is no need to peel any tape off. The half-hour warm-up and simpler pairing capabilities have also caught the eye.
Dexcom developed a new application for the G7 — which hasn’t been seen by users, Sayer noted — that delivers more insights to customers and includes FAQs that should reduce the need to call Dexcom’s tech support.
“We’ve taken the time to make sure the product works up to the standard that we expect of ourselves,” Sayer said. “We never want to stay flat or go backwards. From a performance perspective, it doesn’t disappoint. People will really like it. I think it’s just going to be everything we’d hoped it would be.”
Barclays analyst Travis Steed told Drug Delivery Business News that, despite immense growth ($1.7 billion in 2017 to $5.5 billion in 2020), the CGM market remains “very underpenetrated,” particularly outside of the U.S.
Although not all details on G7 are available, Steed said the information out there on the size, connectivity capabilities with mobile devices, and more fulfills some of the desires on the market. He said the interesting thing will be to see the type of software and personalized insights brought to the market by G7, as well as in future product iterations.
“New products like G7 are important because they improve the patient-user experience which in turn makes it even more likely that patients will say yes to CGM therapy over the alternative (fingersticks),” Steed wrote in an emailed statement. “[The] G7 will be an important product that helps make CGM the standard of care for patients who use insulin therapy and potentially an even broader population.”
According to Sayer, Dexcom expects to launch G7 later this year in Europe, with the expected financial impact to come in 2022. In the meantime, the company is ramping up efforts to scale manufacturing. Sayer previously told analysts in April that the company’s U.S. pivotal study was wrapping up, after which the company will file with FDA.
The company has built the first several automated manufacturing lines, with several more slated to go in between now and the autumn launch. Dexcom is building a plant in Malaysia and expanding manufacturing space in Arizona and San Deigo.
“By the end of 2023, if we build out the way we’re planning, we’re going to have the capacity to build hundreds of millions of these things, whereas we’re only selling tens of millions of sensors now,” Sayer said. “We’ll be ready.”
While some areas of medtech are sweating changes to Medicare eligibility requirements and rate hikes, Sayer said that, if anything, upcoming changes will be good for G7.
“This is all good and helpful for the community with increased access to cohorts within the diabetes community,” Sayer said. “It will be a good thing. To the extent that we can continue to improve the access, we’ll keep pushing.”