Insulin pen

Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson is preparing to scale up manufacturing of a new form of insulin delivery device, an insulin patch-pen, with the aim of launching the product at some point after 2016.

The insulin patch-pen has already been approved back in July 2010 under the name the Calibra Finesse. Since then, Calibra Medical has been acquired by Johnson & Johnson. With the product already approved, Johnson & Johnson are now keen to increase production of the device.

The device sits halfway between an insulin patch pump, such as the OmniPod, and an insulin pen. It is a very small device, smaller than a patch pump, and because it is very thin and has a beige, flesh color, it is reminiscent of a plaster.

Taking the pain out of bolus doses

Whilst the device is smaller than an insulin pump, it only delivers bolus doses and does not deliver basal doses. Doses are delivered by pressing two buttons on the side of the device. The number of button presses is related to the dose given.

Two versions of the patch-pen are available: one that delivers one unit per button press and another that delivers 2 units per button press. The patch-pen has a 200 unit reservoir and can be worn for up to 3 days.

Whilst basal doses will still need to be taken, the patch-pen would significantly reduce the number of injections needed each day for people on multiple daily injections.

Speaking during a Q&A session on Johnson & Johnson’s first quarter sales results, Chief Financial Officer, Dominic Caruso stated: “In terms of the wearable patch pump, that’s probably a couple of years out still, obviously we need to scale up manufacturing complete some additional work on that. A few of us were just there recently visiting our diabetes business and all plans are in shape there, they are moving forward with all the manufacturing that needs to be done…”