UPDATED June 5, 2014, with new round total and comment from Senseonics.
Senseonics said it raised $20 million it plans to put toward pivotal trials of its fully implantable blood glucose monitor for Type I and Type II diabetics, tapping a former Abbott (NYSE:ABT) and LifeScan executive to lead its sales & marketing efforts.
Current investors Anthem Capital, Delphi Ventures, Greenspring Associates, Healthcare Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and other "strategic partners" participated in the round, according to a press release.
Senseonics is developing tiny sensors and transmitters as well as a smartphone application for long-term glucose monitoring with an implant inserted below the skin of the upper arm. The sensor, already in pivotal trials in Amsterdam, is designed to work "noninvasively, automatically, and continuously," the company says. The implant communicates wirelessly with an application on the users’ smartphone, saving patients from carrying around a dedicated glucose monitoring device. In addition to current blood glucose levels, the app also displays trends and history and issues alerts for impending hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Apps are under development for both iPhone and Android phone users. The Germantown, Md.-based company said it expects to finish site initiation at 7 European clinics "before the end of summer" for the European pivotal trial.
"We’re very happy of the continued support from our investors as we near the completion of the product development efforts for our first generation long-term CGM system," president & CEO Tim Goodnow said in prepared remarks.
Senseonics also said it’s hired Mirasol Panlilio, the former director for worldwide marketing
at Abbott Diabetes Care and a 15-year LifeScan veteran, as its vice president for global sales & marketing.
"We are excited that Mirasol has agreed to join Senseonics. She brings a wealth of first-hand experience and creative energy in delivering novel diabetes devices to market. Having Mirasol join us at this time shows our focus will begin to shift towards commercialization," Goodnow said in a statement.
The company faces some stiff competition in the CGM market, with medtech titans such as Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and Abbott (NYSE:ABT) dominating the space. Senseonics may also have to face consumer electronics giant Apple, which reportedly poached former Senseonics product development vice president Todd Whitehurst during a medtech hiring spree.
And yesterday DexCom said it won pre-market approval from the FDA for its Dexcom G4 Platinum Professional continuous glucose monitor, touting it as the only professional-version CGM to offer real-time, unblinded feedback for patients and caregivers.