PercuSense Announces Project with the University of Melbourne funded by The Helmsley Charitable Trust to Develop a Single Sensor Continuous Glucose and Ketone Monitor

PercuSense, an intelligent biosensor and digital health company, announced it has been awarded a $2.5 million program-related investment in the form of a loan from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. PercuSense will use the funding to continue development on its novel continuous monitoring system that measures both glucose and ketones on a single minimally invasive probe. PercuSense will also support the University of Melbourne’s efforts to conduct pre-clinical testing and the first-in-human clinical studies, funded through a separate grant from Helmsley.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening increase in ketone levels in people with diabetes, which results in over 200,000 hospitalizations and over $5 billion in healthcare expenditure in the U.S. annually. Additionally, SGLT2 inhibitors, a promising class of glucose lowering drugs that offer additional health benefits for people with diabetes, have not yet been FDA-approved for type 1 diabetes in part because they have been shown to increase the risk of DKA in type 1 diabetes. Successful development of PercuSense’s continuous glucose and ketone monitoring system could decrease the risk of DKA and allow for more people with type 1 diabetes to reap the benefits of SGLT2 inhibitors.

With the proper information and early warning, people with diabetes can intervene early to address the underlying cause and help prevent dangerous progression and hospitalization due to DKA. Many people with diabetes are not aware when their ketone levels might be increasing, and because DKA is infrequent, they often do not have easy access to a blood ketone meter. PercuSense’s sensor system will be designed to alert users of increasing ketone levels and continue to monitor these levels after intervention. The system combines the benefits of continuous glucose monitoring while adding the safeguard of continuous ketone monitoring, which does not exist in any current commercial product.

“DKA is a constant, lurking risk for every person living with type 1 diabetes, regardless of whether they have been managing diabetes for ten days or ten years, and even more of a concern for those using or considering SGLT2 inhibitors. A system that can provide both continuous glucose and ketone monitoring (CGKM) can remove this danger, reducing the mental burden and improving the lives of people with type 1 diabetes. Our hope is that CGKM will be the standard of care in the future, and we are excited to support PercuSense’s work in this area.”
– Sean Sullivan, PhD, Type 1 Diabetes Program Officer, Helmsley Charitable Trust

The award builds off of the University of Melbourne and PercuSense’s foundational work developing and testing a continuous ketone sensor system for human feasibility studies, which was funded by a grant from Helmsley to the University of Melbourne. The sensor will employ PercuSense’s novel sensor platform technology that enables low cost, continuous measurement of multiple parameters inside the body.

PercuSense will develop the technology and complete first-in-human testing in collaboration with Dr. David O’Neal and the University of Melbourne.

“PercuSense is honored and excited to be selected by the Helmsley Charitable Trust to continue this important development program. We believe that expanding continuous monitoring beyond glucose for people with diabetes will help prevent DKA, increase peace of mind, and ultimately reduce the daily burden of managing diabetes.”
– Brian Kannard, CEO, PercuSense