Today, diabetics must test their blood glucose levels by an uncomfortable process of pricking their finger to acquire a droplet of blood several times per day. Each droplet lands on a test strip that is then inserted into a digital reader to analyze blood glucose level. Monitoring and treatment schemes based around continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems have recently emerged. These CGMs rely upon a needle sensor that constantly protrudes the skin to measure the glucose level, and still require multiple finger-prick calibrations per day to maintain accuracy. Although the impact on patient health and healthcare cost of CGM systems is well accepted, the continuous need for frequent finger-pricks has hampered widespread adoption of CGMs.
Indigo is currently developing a needle-free glucose sensor by exploiting groundbreaking photonics technologies. Danaë Delbeke, key-inventor, founder and managing director of Indigo stated, “Licensing a series of new technologies from globally recognized research institutions UGent and imec enables Indigo to enter the market with the first needle-free and calibration-free glucose sensor.” She highlighted the usefulness of this development by saying “Indigo’s product will alleviate the pressing need for accurate, low-cost diabetes management systems with an optimal user experience.”
“Worldwide, the number of diabetic patients has increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014 according to the World Health Organization,” commented Harrold van Barlingen, managing director of Thuja Capital. "With so many individuals reliant on frequent glucose measurements to help manage this disease, we eagerly support Indigo as it holds the essential potential to enable a paradigm shift in diabetes management with a game-changing technology.”
Diane Lejeune, senior investment manager, LifeSciences and Care, at PMV, remarked, “Indigo’s approach enables patients to be in better control of their disease, thereby providing an answer to the ever increasing cost pressure on our healthcare system. An experienced syndicate of investors now complements Indigo’s dynamic team of experts and managers. I am delighted to be part of this endeavor to transform diabetic healthcare.”
Indigo is based in Ghent, Belgium, where it benefits from access to Ghent University and more specifically the Photonics Research Group and the NB-Photonics consortium, a leading European academic consortium in the field of photonics, with first-class clean room and laboratory facilities. Access to this multi-disciplinary environment and to the cleanrooms of imec will play an important role in Indigo’s future development.