The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has partnered with DexCom, a medical device company focused on developing and marketing continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, to develop smart transmitter technology.

The alliance is intended to accelerate the development of a novel wireless smart transmitter which will allow a CGM system to communicate directly with an artificial pancreas control device, currently being used for research studies, instead of only with a CGM receiver.

Under the partnership, JDRF will provide Dexcom up to $500,000 over 12 months in milestone-based funding to complete the development, testing and manufacturing of a smart transmitter prototype, which will be used for studies within JDRF’s Artificial Pancreas Project academic research consortium.

Transmitters in the current CGM systems deliver real-time glucose levels from the sensor to a receiver, while Dexcom’s next generation of smart transmitters will wirelessly transmit a glucose value directly to multiple devices, including several versions of an artificial pancreas controller.

The direct communication capability of the smart transmitter will help for artificial pancreas trials in outpatient settings, as it will eliminate the need for a trial participant to carry multiple devices while testing the ability of an artificial pancreas system to manage glucose levels.

Terrance Gregg, Dexcom chief executive officer, said the wireless capability will enhance the performance of closed-loop algorithms in outpatient studies.

JDRF treatment therapies assistant vice president Aaron Kowalski said Dexcom’s smart transmitter will allow the sensor to talk directly to multiple artificial pancreas control devices, eliminating the hassle of being encumbered by wires and other devices while trying to be active.

"Now that the first outpatient studies have started, the development of robust wireless connection capability is a key step toward accelerating the delivery of an artificial pancreas to all patients with T1D [type 1 diabetes]," Kowalski added.