Artificial Pancreas Study Starts

Medtronic, Inc. has announced the first patient enrollments in the U.S. Overnight Closed Loop Study, a key feasibility trial to begin the commercialization path for a third-generation, fully automated artificial pancreas system for people with diabetes.


Medtronic’s Diabetes business includes integrated diabetes management systems, insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring systems and therapy management software.

The company’s artificial pancreas system is fully automated, requiring no interaction from the user (except for calibration of the continuous glucose monitoring system). Going a step beyond systems that only manage blood glucose to a broad target range, this system automatically adjusts insulin delivery to achieve a specific glucose value, for example as 120 mg/dL.

Under an FDA Investigational Device Exemption(IDE), the new study will examine a closed loop algorithm that is designed to automatically achieve a specified target glucose value throughout the night. The in-clinic study will also test Medtronic’s breakthrough fault detection technology, which will be critical to the commercialization of a safe and effective system.

Up to 85 subjects will be enrolled at six investigational centers in the United States. Overnight in the clinic, trial participants will use Medtronic’s closed loop, artificial pancreas system consisting of a MiniMed® insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor and an Android phone. The in-clinic study will test the system’s breakthrough fault detection technology by simulating system failures and examining the algorithm’s ability to prevent the over- or under-delivery of insulin in even the most unlikely circumstances.

Physician comments 

“For people with diabetes, controlling blood sugars through the night can be frustrating. Too much insulin can cause the blood sugar to go too low. Not enough insulin will result in waking up with blood sugar too high, making the next day’s diabetes management challenging,” said Timothy Bailey, M.D., director of AMCR Institute. “Technology that safely and automatically adjusts insulin delivery overnight would allow people with diabetes to wake up with normal blood sugars. This in turn could improve overall diabetes control with less anxiety, significantly improving the daily lives of people with diabetes. This is why the findings from this trial will be so important.”

Company comments

“For more than a decade, Medtronic has been conducting clinical research of artificial pancreas systems, working toward bringing to market systems that think, act and communicate through cutting-edge automation and connectivity to help patients spend less time worrying about and managing their diabetes and more time living,” said Francine Kaufman, chief medical officer and vice president of global clinical affairs for Medtronic Diabetes. “The safety and reliability of these artificial pancreas technologies is absolutely critical. This study is the first to put closed loop algorithms to the test, simulating the ‘worst case’ scenarios to ensure patient safety should a fault occur.”

Source: Medtronic, Inc.