“In July, the company began clinical trials of the smartloop system and plans to submit for FDA premarket approval in 2017.” – mobihealthnews October 19, 2016
“Bigfoot anticipates initiating a pivotal trial incorporating FreeStyle Libre technology in 2018 at clinical research sites across the United States.” Bigfoot press release July 13, 2017
Being a grandfather now I’ve had to brush up on my bedtime stories and one of my favorites is Aesop’s Fables The Boy Who Cried Wolf. We all know this story and yep it certainly applies to our wacky world. And it really applies to one company in particular Bigfoot Biomedical. Now back in June 2015 when Bigfoot acquired the assets of Asante, we didn’t give the company much thought. Just another insulin pump wannabe.
What got us intrigued wasn’t the toy or toys they were developing but how they planned on selling their toys. Rather than follow the traditional revenue model Bigfoot was moving forward with the Shave Club for Men revenue model, a model which we saw as the future. To our knowledge Bigfoot was the first diabetes toy company to follow this model. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy road for the company, but we thought they were on the right road.
The company also got a couple of breaks especially when Animas decided to exit the insulin pump market. Plus it looked for a time that Tandem was about to go under, yes, we know it didn’t happen but heck even the people at Tandem will tell you they were very close to deaths door. Anyway the insulin pump market for a time looked to be down to just two players Medtronic and Insulet. We thought if Bigfoot could get their toy to market, they just might stand a chance and not end up like the company they bought Asante.
Unfortunately for Bigfoot they missed their window, Tandem recovered, and the insulin pump market is now back to a three-horse race.
Next the company set their sights on developing a Tyler. Remember the company acquired cap cover developer Timesulin back in June of 2017. At this year’s ADA in San Francisco the company did something rather astonishing at least for them anyway they actually showed a working prototype of their cap covers, this was in addition to down talking the competition and backstabbing any company who would not partner with them. We should also mention they weren’t shy about saying that their system and their system only was the best and all the others basically sucked.
Now what got us thinking about Bigfoot was Sanofi’s recent cap cover deal with Biocorp and all the interest in Tyler. As we have noted Lilly and Novo Nordisk also have a Tyler under development. As we have also noted Dexcom could if they decide to do so bring their version of Tyler to the market, not to mention Abbott who just so happens is partnered with Bigfoot.
Now if this system is so damn good if it is truly superior to what everyone else has why then has no one come after Bigfoot. Why hasn’t a greater fool come along and bought up the company? It’s not like Bigfoot has a low profile quite the contrary one thing the company is very good at is social media and plastering themselves all over the internet. Like the boy who cried wolf with Bigfoot it’s always pretty soon yep right around the corner it’s almost here.
This is in sharp contrast to the many competitors Bigfoot has who they claim to be superior to. Companion Medical not only has product on the market in the hands of patients they likely will be the first connected pen company that integrates CGM data into their app. Common Sensing, who also got venture money from Sanofi but then again who hasn’t gotten money from Sanofi it’s the only thing Sanofi is good at giving money away, anyway Common Sensing is out doing deals and raising more money. And as we already mentioned Biocorp now has a deal with Sanofi. There are more but we think you’re getting the picture by now.
See while all these companies are out doing deals, raising more money and actually bringing products to market Bigfoot is …. Is what? To our knowledge and we checked the clinical trials website have NO trials underway. They have certainly submitted NOTHING to the FDA. Nor has anyone come knocking on their door to say hey let’s do a deal. And let’s be clear since Bigfoot has overcome their shyness problem had any of these things happened, they would have made a huge deal out of it plastering it all over social media.
Oh and did we mention that the original pump that toy that was supposed to be so whiz bang and way cool has been put on the backburner and may never ever see the light of day. Bigfoot is many things but stupid isn’t among them and they know Tyler is the hottest thing going and if they are going to swindle more money out of investors, they better have one. Now that Livongo is going public we can only imagine what the company is telling potential investors. Get in now as soon we’ll pull a Livongo.
See the one thing Bigfoot can do very well as they certainly can’t get a product to market is hype. Which reminded us of another company that used to be located not far from where Bigfoot resides. They too pumped up the hype machine bilking investors out of billions. But like most things that are too good to be true it wasn’t. The question to us is Bigfoot the Theranos of diabetes will they ever bring something to market or will they continue to over hype products they have not even made it through the FDA and may never even get to the FDA.
Since the day this company began, they have been over promising and under delivering. First it was the pump now it’s Tyler next thing you know they’ll come out with coaching app and jump on the digital diabetes wave. See that’s what Bigfoot is good at, not innovative new products but jumping on bandwagons and then hype, hype and more hype. It’s always tomorrow with Bigfoot never today.
Folks this company has raised nearly $100 million has been around since 2015 and for the most part has an experienced dedicated staff. They are partnered with Abbott not exactly a small company without a presence in diabetes. The products they make aren’t overly sophisticated and the markets they play in are hotter than Chicago in August. Yet while everyone else is doing deals, bringing products to market what is Bigfoot doing or even better question what the hell has the company actually done other than hype themselves while down talking the competition and backstabbing any company that hasn’t done a deal with them.
Perhaps there is a reason no one is doing deals with them. Perhaps there is a reason they haven’t brought anything to market let alone to the FDA. Perhaps there is NO there there. Perhaps Bigfoot is the Theranos of diabetes.