The Insulin Patch and Who Will Bring it to Market


CeQur, a company that develops and sells simple insulin delivery devices primarily for those with type 2, has recently bought the Calibra insulin delivery patch from Johnson & Johnson. The Calibra insulin delivery patch is a thin device that is worn on the body and delivers bolus doses of rapid-acting insulin when activated by hitting two buttons simultaneously. It does not deliver or carry basal insulin, which means that the Calibra is much smaller than your typical pump.

This acquisition makes sense. Johnson & Johnson have been moving out of the diabetes devices market, and CeQur is in the final phases of development of their PAQ product. The PAQ is similar to the Calibra insulin delivery patch (the device that CeQur has just acquired) in the sense that both of these products are discrete and users can bolus with the touch of a button on the device. However, the PAQ also has three days worth of basal insulin, although the rate is fixed. The Calibra insulin delivery system only delivers mealtime bolus insulin and has already been FDA-cleared.

The Calibra insulin delivery patch system that was just passed from Johnson & Johnson to CeQur is set to launch in mid-2019 in US pharmacies. It’s marketed as a product that allows for more discrete mealtime insulin bolusing—it only takes a single activation by pressing down on two buttons simultaneously and then delivers two units of bolus insulin. Of course, if users require more than two units of insulin, they can simply activate the patch again, but there is no capability to bolus in one-unit increments of insulin, which might present a problem. Since the Calibra insulin delivery patch system is entirely mechanical unlike a pump, it might be more economical than wearing a full-feature pump if all the user is looking for is bolus insulin. For users that require multiple daily injections, the Calibra insulin delivery patch system can be supplemented with basal injections via pens or syringes. The patch system holds 200 units of fast-acting insulin.

In comparison to the Calibra insulin delivery patch system, CeQur’s PAQ product that is currently in development and being submitted for FDA approval is a three-day wearable insulin pump that also provides basal insulin. However, the PAQ is not for people who have to change their basal rate daily, because the PAQ has a fixed basal rate. The PAQ also includes a messenger unit that tells users how much insulin is left, and CeQur is planning to submit it for FDA approval at the end of 2018.

Read more on insulin delivery.

WRITTEN BY Amrita Misha, POSTED 08/09/18, UPDATED 10/28/22

A 2017 high school graduate, Amrita is taking a gap year before going to Dartmouth next fall, where she plans on majoring in physics. She has lived in the Bay Area her whole life, and loves learning about other people’s experience. She is passionate about teaching and tutoring children in any arena she can: math, physics, writing, skiing. In her free time, you can find Amrita reading, listening to podcasts, or embroidering.