In June 2019, Bradley Paddock joined CeQur®, as Chief Executive Officer. We spoke to Bradley to hear about his first 6 months in the company and discuss the up-coming U.S. launch of its three-day insulin delivery device for type 2 diabetes.
You probably had many career options after Kyphon and Stryker. What attracted you to CeQur?
Diabetes is an enormous epidemic that now affects about 10% of the global population. To enter a space where you can make a difference for so many lives is a huge driver. Second, is the unique technology that CeQur has developed, both its legacy PAQ® TOTAL and CeQur Simplicity™, acquired from J&J. The innovation of the devices, the fact there is nothing like them in the market, and the fact that they directly address a major unmet need in type 2 diabetes, is a big draw. Finally, the opportunity to join a company where the investors, the board, and the management team are aligned in their vision reaffirmed my decision.
What is the patient unmet need in diabetes, and how is CeQur uniquely positioned to address it?
Research shows that people with type 2 diabetes are less likely to admit to having the condition or to discussing it, as compared with people who live with other health conditions, such as high blood pressure. Further, people are reluctant to inject themselves in the company of others, this is one of several reasons why many purposely skip injections. Missed injections can have a detrimental effect on diabetes control and patient outcomes. Two out of every three people living with diabetes and on insulin are not reaching their glycemic target. The wearable nature of CeQur Simplicity™, and the ability to dose discreetly through clothes without anyone knowing, is a remarkable solution to the problem.
Why did CeQur decide to focus primarily on type 2 diabetes, and not type 1?
There are 22 million type 2 patients in the U.S., of which 2 million are taking insulin. With two out of every three of these patients not at goal, there are more type 2 patients not at goal on insulin than the entire type 1 population. The unique benefits of CeQur Simplicity™ have been designed to overcome the injection barriers for those with type 2 diabetes on multiple daily (insulin) injections. The Patch is always with them, discreet and extremely simple to use. Many with type 1 diabetes will benefit from CeQur Simplicity, however this a smaller market. In addition, in type 1 diabetes, not taking insulin will result in a medical emergency, therefore they tend to be more compliant. Furthermore, some with type 1 diabetes are insulin sensitive requiring precise insulin doses and can benefit from the more complex pumps and connected devices that have been developed for them.
What have you learned over your first six months as CEO of CeQur?
I’ve learned that the opportunity to improve patient outcomes is even more significant than I had anticipated and that diabetes is a difficult disease to manage for both patients and clinicians. Every patient is unique and with his/her challenges.
What is the clinical evidence that supports CeQur Simplicity?
CeQur Simplicity has been used by over 400 patients. There have been four clinical trials, including a 268 patient randomized controlled trial, which was a multi-national study at 63 sites around the world. Data from this trial demonstrated a 1.7 % reduction in HbA1c (a measure of how well controlled your blood glucose has been over three months), which is very significant and meaningful. In addition, patients stated they would be more likely to dose at mealtime and found CeQur Simplicity™ to be significantly easier to use, less painful, and less embarrassing than insulin pens. Furthermore, 91% of healthcare providers preferred CeQur Simplicity™ over pens and injections as they found the device easy to use and teach.
What are the priorities and goals for CeQur in 2020?
CeQur Simplicity™ is FDA approved. We are planning to start a pilot launch in Q1 in the top 25 diabetes centres in the U.S. We anticipate being in the pilot phase of our launch for the first four to five months. We will focus on building our commercial team in the first quarter and will continue to focus our efforts on scaling manufacturing. We will also be closing a funding round in the coming months.
When could we see CeQur Simplicity™ launched in Europe and elsewhere?
We will be focused on the U.S. market for the next two to three years. Once we have established a strong foundation, we will expand in Europe and elsewhere.
Your experience lies in creating commercially successful companies out of start-ups – what is your advice to someone going through a similar journey for the first time?
First and foremost, talent wins – have the right people in the right roles. Second, develop a culture with high-performance expectations and high accountability. Third, be continuously listening and learning to your advisors and customers to adjust your strategy and tactics in a flexible and agile manner when needed. Of course, it helps to have investment partners and advisors who understand your business and who can bring a high level of commitment and operational expertise to the company.
*CeQur Simplicity™ was previously PAQ Meal.