Company Tries to Speed Arrival of “Wrist Watch” Glucose Meter

| Dec 1, 1998

Cygnus Inc. has an idea for a painless glucose meter which will resemble a wrist watch. Calling it the GlucoWatch (R) monitor, Cygnus is searching for a business partner to market the product here in North America. Although the product is not finalized, GlucoWatch is expected to have a skin pad, known as the AutoSensor, which measures glucose concentration with an electric current. Cygnus cannot yet specify an availability date.

The GlucoWatch monitor will warn people if their glucose levels are too high or too low. Up to three readings per hour are possible, which then can be downloaded into a computer database.

The GlucoWatch monitor must be calibrated with a standard glucose meter each time the AutoSensor skin pad is replaced, which should be about every 12 hours.

Cygnus seeks North American and European partners to distribute the device. Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical is currently distributing the product in Japan. Yamanouchi recently began clinical studies of the device in Japan and Korea.

Here in the United States, Cygnus is conducting clinical studies in line with the FDA procedures for regulatory approval.

Andrea Sobel, manager of corporate communications at Cygnus, says that the pricing strategy has "not yet been finalized," but estimates that the retail price should be approximately $225. In addition, the AutoSensor will cost about $4 per 12-hour pad. Thus, if the device comes to market the projected cost of using it would be $8 per day for the pad.

See the Cygnus Web site at for more details.

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