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Abbott Launches Sports Biosensor in Europe, Boosts CGM Wing

Abbott ABT recently launched its CE-Marked glucose sport biosensor under its Libre brand in Europe. This according to the company is the world’s first glucose sport biosensor that continuously measures glucose of the athletes to determine the correlation between their glucose levels and their sports activities.

With the latest launch, Abbott takes one step forward in one of the fastest growing global markets of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems.

Libre Sense Biosensor at a Glance

This first-of-its-kind personal-use product is based on abbott’s FreeStyle Libre CGM technology. It is a consumer over-the-counter product where glucose monitoring of athletes (16 years and older) can be done with the help of a mobile app while they are cycling, running or swimming. This, while tracking and understanding glucose level, helps in choosing the athlete’s ideal nutrition during time training and competition.

The athletes have to wear a small round biosensor on the back of their upper arm. The biosensor will provide real-time glucose values and can be worn for up to 14 days. Every minute, it will automatically provide streaming glucose data with the help of Bluetooth wireless technology, which is designed to work with compatible mobile apps and wrist readers.

 

In line with this, the company entered into its first non-exclusive collaboration with Atlanta-based sports technology company, Supersapiens that provides actionable and personalized insights on real-time biometric data, starting with glucose.

Meanwhile, we note that, the company is already benefiting from Supersapiens’ partnership with some of the top teams at the Tour de France, the largest annual sporting event in the world. The teams are utilizing the energy management system and have worn the Libre Sense biosensor in training as part of an observational trial.

Market Prospect

Going by a study published in the American College of Sports Medicine, proper nutritional intake will have a better chance at improving the athlete’s performance during exercise. Further, research also shows that understanding real-time glucose levels helps to determine the ideal nutritional intake to help improve muscle recovery and athletic performance.

While CGM-focused awareness is growing fast, this Libre glucose sport biosensor, being the first of its kind in sports, is expected to gain huge market acceptance globally.

In this regard, per a report by Grand View Research, the global CGM device market size was valued at $3,929.7 million in 2019 and is anticipated to reach $10.4 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 12.7%. Factors like rising incidence of diabetes and increasing adoption of CGM devices are expected to drive the market.

Recent Developments in Diabetes Care

In September, Abbott’s next-generation FreeStyle Libre 2 integrated continuous glucose monitoring (iCGM) system received Medicare coverage. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) reimbursement coverage has expanded the access of the Libre 2 to Medicare patients for better management of diabetes. The iCGM system is now accessible to all diabetic Medicare patients that satisfy the eligibility criteria.

Abbott, in June, finalized the diabetes care deal (proposed in October 2019) with Tandem Diabetes Care, Inc. (TNDM). The deal enabled the companies to integrate Abbott's FreeStyle Libre CGM technology with Tandem Diabetes’ insulin delivery systems for enhanced diabetes management.

In the same month, the company announced the receipt of the FDA’s approval for its next-generation FreeStyle Libre 2 iCGM system for use in diabetic patients aged four years and above.

Further, in June, Abbott announced new late-breaking data illustrating that the use of the FreeStyle Libre system is associated with significant reduction in hemoglobin A1c levels for people having type 2 diabetes on either long-acting insulin or non-insulin therapy.

Price Performance

Over the past three months, Abbott’s share price has outperformed the broader industry. The stock has gained 18.3% compared to the industry’s 7.6% rise.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Abbott carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are QIAGEN N.V. QGEN, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO and Hologic, Inc. HOLX.

QIAGEN’s long-term earnings-growth rate is estimated at 22.3%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Thermo Fisher’s long-term earnings-growth rate is estimated at 15%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Hologic’s long-term earnings-growth rate is estimated at 15.5%. The company presently sports a Zacks Rank #1.

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