Sanofi Aventis enters the Glucose Meter race

Sanofi Aventis is responsible for single-handedly revolutionizing the diabetes market earlier this century with the approval of Lantus, the first “basal” insulin to be approved by the FDA.

Now, the french company has it’s eyes set on a new challenge: Blood Glucose meters. Sanofi-Aventis has “further broadened its healthcare business on Wednesday by agreeing to develop blood sugar monitoring systems with AgaMatrix, a privately held U.S. firm.” said a Reuters report.

The original press release also indicates that “The move takes the group into the world of medical devices and is part of a strategy by Chief Executive Chris Viehbacher to diversify Sanofi, reducing its traditional reliance on branded prescription drugs.

Viehbacher told Reuters last year he was interested in certain areas of medical technology, including devices that allow patients to measure their health at home.

“The vision of the company is to become a healthcare company (so) it’s logical to look at some kinds of devices,” he said at the time. [ID:nL5498514]

Under the terms of the agreement, AgaMatrix and Sanofi will co-develop blood glucose monitoring devices that can simplify the management of insulin therapy, where Sanofi is already a leader with insulin drugs such as Lantus and Apidra.

Sanofi plans to start selling the first products from the partnership in the second half of 2010, it said.

Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed but the blood monitoring systems will be exclusive to Sanofi and will be designed to work synergistically with its existing diabetes treatments.

“This agreement is a concrete step towards fulfilling our vision to deliver integrated solutions to patients and become the partner of choice in the field of diabetes,” said Pierre Chancel, head of Sanofi’s diabetes division.

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