The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system, the first FDA-approved device that is intended to automatically monitor glucose and provide appropriate basal insulin doses in people 14 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes.

The MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system, often referred to as an “artificial pancreas,” is intended to adjust insulin levels with little or no input from the user. It works by measuring glucose levels every five minutes and automatically administering or withholding insulin. The system includes a sensor that attaches to the body to measure glucose levels under the skin; an insulin pump strapped to the body; and an infusion patch connected to the pump with a catheter that delivers insulin. While the device automatically adjusts insulin levels, users need to manually request insulin doses to counter carbohydrate (meal) consumption.

“As part of our commitment to improving diabetes care, the FDA worked interactively with Medtronic from the earliest stages of development to assist in making this technology available to people with type 1 diabetes as quickly as possible,” said Alberto Gutierrez, PhD, director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “We encourage companies to work closely with the agency to ensure scientifically sound, highly efficient clinical study designs, helping to expedite the FDA’s evaluation and subsequent approval of novel devices that can make a difference for patients.”

The FDA evaluated data from a clinical trial of the MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system that included 123 participants with type 1 diabetes. The clinical trial included an initial two-week period where the system’s hybrid closed loop was not used followed by a three-month study during which trial participants used the system’s hybrid closed loop feature as frequently as possible. This clinical trial showed that the device is safe for use in people 14 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes. No serious adverse events, diabetic ketoacidosis or severe were reported during the study.

As part of this approval, the FDA is requiring a post-market study. While the device is being approved today for use in people 14 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes, Medtronic is currently performing clinical studies to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the device in diabetic children 7-13 years old.