Roche snaps up diabetes startup mySugr
- Swiss pharma Roche has inked a deal to acquire Austrian startup mySugr, snapping up the company's mobile diabetes platform in a bid to create an open system for digital management of the disease.
- While Roche will acquire all shares of mySugr GmBH, the company will remain a separate legal entity. No financial details were released.
- In May, mySugr reported more than one million users of its platforms, which enable diabetes patients to record and track blood glucose and activity data in a digital logbook from their own health devices.
The aim of digital disease management is to help patients to manage their own conditions, hopefully improving outcomes and quality of life.
One of the challenges impeding uptake of these devices, though, has been the tendency for these platforms to be drug-specific, tying the user into one particular brand. mySugr's apps, however, are compatible with many diabetes devices and services.
The start-up has partnered with Roche since 2014, and also has an agreement for device integration with Abbott.
Frank Westermann, CEO and cofounder of mySugr, has explained he set up the company to help to simplify diabetes therapy using smartphones. Current apps and services include diabetes coaching, therapy management, unlimited test-strips, and automated data tracking.
As with other drugmakers involved in the diabetes space, Roche has been affected by the ongoing competitive and pricing pressures in the U.S. market. The Swiss company recently said it would lay off more than 150 employees in its U.S. diabetes care unit.
Even still, Roche — more involved in disease management rather than treatment — plans to bring its Accu-Chek blood glucose monitoring system to the U.S. this year. The deal with mySugr indicates a continued presence in the market.
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