Lifecare is launching a new company called Lifecare Veterinary. Now man’s best friend will also benefit from the same innovation.
– Our main focus will still be the development of the sensor for people with diabetes, increasing their quality of life. This is not, however, counterproductive to helping our pets in parallel to the ordinary course of development resulting from the ground-breaking sensor development we do for humans.
Joining the team is the Bergen based veterinary and entrepreneur Jo Amundstad, who will become general manager of the newly established subsidiary Lifecare Veterinary. He has built up local veterinary clinics as well as national businesses such as VetScan under Anicura, and has also had a key posision in the Anicura management. For over 20 years, he has driven development and innovation within the veterinary profession. During the last six years, he has also built up his own business, VetLabs.
General Manager Jo Amundstad at Lifecare Veterinary and CEO Joacim Holter at Lifecare
During his many years in the veterinary profession, Jo Amundstad has observed an unmet need for animals suffering from diabetes. He contacted Lifecare when he recognized the potential for using Lifecare’s sensor technology for animals. – We love our pets, so why not help them using the same technology, I thought. Animals also suffer from diabetes. The potential is great to also being able to contribute to increased animal welfare, says Amundstad.
Lifecare’s sensor-venture addresses a patient population of over 530 million people with diabetes. The spin-off investment in giving animals the same health benefit can provide enormous market potential for the company based in Bergen.
– The veterinary market has long been an interesting business area for Lifecare, but we have deliberately focused on the main development of the sensor for humans. We have now received repeated confirmation of its feasibility and most recently through studies in human tissue. Our development is so advanced that we can start thinking about commercialization to a much greater extent. The combination is perfect now that we have the opportunity to take turns on such an experienced and competent partner as Amundstad. It will then be a no-brainer for us to continue with a more targeted commercial race towards the veterinary market relatively quickly, Holter says.
A couple of weeks ago, Lifecare completed its first human clinical development study. – We are fully focused on developing the microsensor for people suffering from diabetes, but we have communicated over time that we see potential in other markets. This also applies beyond the glucose segment, says Holter.
In short, Lifecare is developing an advanced miniaturized sensor, based on nanotechnology and 3D printing. The sensor is the size of a grain of rice, which will be implanted in the subcutaneous tissue at the wrist and continuously communicate with a smart device. The wireless sensor should function as a measuring instrument that shows users how the glucose level develops.
Key numbers regarding pets affected by diabetes:
There is not as extensive research on pets and the prevalence of diabetes as on humans:
• Available figures indicate that every 7th per 1,000 cats and every 2nd per 1,000 dogs have the diagnosis. Research shows that diabetes typically occurs in dogs between the ages of 4 and 14.
• Dogs most frequently develop type 1 diabetes and more rarely diabetes 2, which usually is a milder variant.
• 90 million dogs, 120 million cats. 1 million dogs have diabetes (1.2%).
The number of dogs and cats in Norway:
565,000 dogs and then 6,780 dogs develop diabetes during their lifetime
750,000 cats and then 3150 cats get diabetes during their lifetime