By: David Mendosa
What do you get when you cross a pelicanwith an albatross?
When applied to blood glucose testing,the answer is: big benefits. Just change“pelican” to Pelikan Technologies in PaloAlto, California, and “albatross” to AlbatrosTechnologies.
Pelikan Technologies has developed theelectronically controlled Pelikan Sun lancingsystem, already approved by the FDA. Whenit becomes available in a few months, it willbe the first lancing system to allow us toperform the entire lancing process at thetouch of a button.
A Match Made in Heaven
In December 2004, Pelikan Technologiesbought the German company Inventus. Theacquisition provides Pelikan with the InventusGlucoSens blood glucose meter. Pelikanimmediately changed the Inventus name toAlbatros Technologies.
The German spellings of “Pelikan” and“Albatros” are no coincidence; Pelikan’spresident and CEO, Dirk Boecker, MD, PhD,hails from that country.
“We now own all technologies andcomponents necessary for the developmentof our advanced fully integrated glucose-monitoringdevice,” says Boecker. “The sensorfits nicely into the format of the Pelikan Sun.Yet it will be about the size of Apple’s iPodmini and weigh about 5 ounces.”
The fully integrated one-step device will have50 lancets and 50 sensors in one disk. Therewill be no strips.
“This is a device for everybody, but childrenand the elderly in particular have specialneeds,” says Boecker. “Children are thepeople with the most sensitive skin, and theyhave to test for their entire life. This devicewill let them be more compliant.”
Waiting to Fly
Pelikan and Albatros don’t expect the deviceto be on the market until 2007. The companyhasn’t named it yet, but my guess is that itwill be the German name for a beautiful bird.
Disks, Discs and Drums
Pelikan will offer the first lancing diskand, eventually, the first lancing andsensing disk.
Currently, two Bayer meters—theAscensia Dex 2 and AscensiaBreeze—use a 10-test-strip disc,which does away with handlingindividual test strips.
Roche’s Accu-Chek Compactalso automates the strip-handlingprocess. It enables test strips to bedispensed from a drum of 17 stripswith a press of a button.
The ReliOn NewTek contains 100preloaded test strips. Hypoguardmarkets this meter exclusivelythrough Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.
MediSense’s Precision Sof-Tact wasthe first glucose monitor to offerlancing, blood collection and glucosetesting with a single press of a button.Yet you still have to load each lancetand test strip.