So the new development from Biolinq – a U.S.-based company backed by M Ventures, our corporate venture capital arm – could improve the lives of many people. Nectar, the name of this revolutionary product, looks like a patch the size of a euro 50-cent coin. It contains tiny sensors that, when applied to the skin, analyze what is known as the interstitial fluid directly beneath the top layer of the skin. This fluid is not within skin cells or other cells, but in the space between cells. The sensors currently measure glucose, but in the future could measure a number of things, such as lactate and ketone levels. Studies have shown that measuring glucose in the interstitial fluid leads to even more precise results than interstitial fluid from the subcutaneous tissue, where traditional Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) operate.
Moreover, Nectar is not only affordable, it is also easy to use. It is completely pain-free, can remain on the skin for more than seven days, and sends the data wirelessly to a smartphone. The app that goes along with it is also easy to use. “Biolinq ison the verge of improving and simplifying the lives of millions of people living with diabetes with just a small patch,” explains Edward Kliphuis, Biolinq Board Member and Investment Director of M Ventures.
Another major advantage of Nectar over the traditional method of analyzing blood sugar levels with a drop of blood is that it measures continuously. There are other alternatives (traditional CGMs) that enable continuous measuring, such as sensors implanted under the skin, but in contrast to Nectar, those methods always involve a foreign body under the skin, and that can cause problems. Nectar is currently being validated and optimized in clinical trials with patients and is expected to be approved and launched commercially in the coming years. Kliphuis says the results so far are impressive.
Diabetes is, however, not the only field of application for Biolinq’s tiny sophisticated sensors. Because the sensors can potentially also detect ketone and lactate levels in the future, they can also be used to analyze the influence of nutrition and physical activity on health. As a result, Biolinq can also contribute to weight loss and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. And that is just the beginning. Each Nectar patch contains dozens of sensors that allow for each patch to analyze several biomarkers.
M Venture’s investment in Biolinq is more than just a strategic move to help us gain a foothold in the growing field of what is known as biosensoring; in the medium term, a paradigm shift in medicine initiated by Biolinq could well be on the horizon – a shift toward needle-free blood monitoring.