Bayer announced that it would buy Metrika earlier today; this had been rumored for the last couple of months. We imagine there will be multiple opportunities to build up the point of care A1C business and we imagine Bayer's primary care sales force could figure meaningfully in growing Metrika's business. More focus on A1c control is a definite positive from a patient perspective, provider perspective, and payor perspective - we'll stay tuned on other avenues for growhth as well, such as home A1c testing and international expansion.
Bayer Acquires Metrika Inc.
Thursday July 6, 4:00 pm ET
Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care Portfolio Now Includes an Innovative Device
for Self-Testing of HbA1c -- the Gold Standard Indicator of Ongoing Blood
TARRYTOWN, N.Y., July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer Diabetes Care, a division of
Bayer HealthCare LLC and a member of the Bayer Group (NYSE: BAY - News),
announced today that it has acquired Metrika Inc., a privately held company
based in Sunnyvale, CA, that manufactures and markets A1CNow+®, a
meter-based diabetes monitoring system that has single-use, disposable test
cartridges. A1CNow+ is a pager-sized device for people with diabetes to use
both at home and with their healthcare provider for monitoring of HbA1c,
the clinically accepted standard measure of blood sugar control. Details of
the purchase agreement were not disclosed.
"In keeping with our history of innovation in diabetes care, we are very
excited to now offer people with diabetes and their healthcare providers
the first and only device for use both at home as well as in the
professional setting for monitoring of HbA1c, perhaps the most important
indicator of blood sugar control," said Sandra Peterson, President of Bayer
Diabetes Care. "The addition of A1CNow+ complements and strengthens our
portfolio to include a full spectrum of products for total diabetes
diagnosis and management."
Importance of HbA1c
HbA1c, also known as glycated hemoglobin, is a measure of a patient's blood
sugar control over the last two to three months. According to the American
Diabetes Association (ADA), tight glycemic control sustained over time, as
measured through HbA1c scores, slows the development of diabetic
complications including heart, eye, kidney and nerve diseases and even a
small reduction in HbA1c is important. The HbA1c value is an index of mean
blood glucose levels over the past two to three months with significant
changes in the HbA1c levels due to blood sugar variability over the last
30-40 days being detectable.
The newly-released, improved A1CNow+ is a portable, easy-to-use and
reliable system that provides immediate access to lab-quality NGSP*
certified HbA1c results in just five minutes. This helps to improve the
overall efficiency of diabetes care by reporting HbA1c values directly to
the patient or during the patients' office visit eliminating absent or
delayed lab results. Utilizing the integration of micro-optical technology
and solid state chemistry into a proprietary monitor with disposable
cartridges, A1CNow+ provides rapid HbA1c results with precision and
accuracy equivalent to certified laboratories.
The test can be performed with a simple three-step procedure using
finger-stick or venous blood. Fast, easy measurement of HbA1c enables
people with diabetes and their healthcare providers to make immediate
diabetes management decisions and to help optimize and calibrate therapy
with the goal of improved outcomes.
HbA1c is formed when glucose in the blood binds irreversibly to hemoglobin
to form a stable glycated hemoglobin HbA1c complex. Since the normal life
span of red blood cells averages about 120 days, the HbA1c level will
change as new red cells are made. HbA1c values are directly proportional to
the average concentration of glucose in the blood over the past two to
three months. HbA1c values are not subject to the daily fluctuations that
are seen with blood sugar monitoring.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the United States Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention indicate there are 14.6 million American
children and adults diagnosed with diabetes. According to the ADA, in 2005,
1.5 million new cases were diagnosed in people 20 years of age and older.
The ADA recommends that the test be performed every three months for
patients who have HbA1c values at or above 7% and every six months for
patients with HbA1c values below 7% as well as during treatment changes or
after periods of elevated blood glucose levels. The ADA also added a
recommendation for point-of-care HbA1c monitoring to their 2006
professional practice guidelines emphasizing the importance of routine
real-time HbA1c monitoring of persons with diabetes.
The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and the United Kingdom
Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) studies showed that lower HbA1c values
are associated with prevention of, or significant decreases in, the
development of serious eye, kidney and nerve disease.
The ADA clinical practice guidelines indicate diabetes is under control
when the HbA1c result is 7% or less. The Links and Resources page of the
ADA website (https://www.diabetes.org) contains several resources to assist
patients and health care professionals in diabetes management.
* The A1CNow+ is certified by the National Glycohemoglobin