Healthcare: Air Liquide strengthens its position in home care for patients with diabetes and participates in the French artificial pancreas project

July 10, 2017

By signing a partnership with CERITD, the French Center for Studies and Research for the Intensification of Diabetes Treatment, Air Liquide is strengthening its position in home healthcare for patients with diabetes. Air Liquide also acquired an equity stake in “Diabeloop”, the French start-up that is developing an electronic artificial pancreas.

With this new collaboration, Air Liquide continues the approach initiated by CERITD based on cooperation between hospital teams and homecare nurses. At the request of physicians, nurses will be able to help provide even more personalized follow-up for patients with diabetes treated at home, such as adjusting the treatment in accordance with a strict protocol.

In addition, to increase its level of expertise in the field of diabetes and support innovation, Air Liquide has acquired an equity stake via ALIAD, the Group’s venture capital investment arm, in the French start-up Diabeloop, which is developing its own artificial pancreas. Founded by CERITD’s diabetes specialists, in partnership with the CEA Leti,1 Diabeloop is designing an electronic artificial pancreas composed of an insulin pump in the form of a patch and a glucose sensor both connected. Driven by an algorithm, this system will enable to automate the delivery of insulin and thus reproduce the functions of the defective pancreas.

In practice, using the data collected by the continuous glucose sensor, the algorithm determines the right dose of insulin, which is then delivered in real time via the insulin pump in order to improve patient glucose regulation.

This technology will help improve the daily life of patients with type 1 diabetes by partially automating the management of this disease. The investment made by Air Liquide in Diabeloop confirms the Group’s commitment to digital technologies and healthcare, in the aim of helping patients achieve a better quality of life and care.

François Jackow, member of the Air Liquide group’s Executive Committee, supervising the Healthcare activities, said: "The partnership with CERITD, a leading research center for diabetes treatment, and investments in innovative projects such as Diabeloop's electronic artificial pancreas, are in line with the development strategy of Air Liquide's Home Healthcare activity. By relying on innovation ecosystems, Air Liquide is contributing to advances in home care for patients with chronic illnesses."

1 Electronics laboratory for information technology of the CEA (The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission)

Supplies medical gases, home healthcare services, hygiene products, medical equipment and specialty ingredients. In 2016, it served over 15,000 hospitals and clinics and more than 1.4 million patients at home throughout the world. The Group’s Healthcare business reached €3,111 million in revenues in 2016, with the support of its 15,000 employees.

Air Liquide, European leader in home healthcare, provides home healthcare services in compliance with medical prescription for patients suffering from chronic diseases such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), sleep apnea and diabetes. These home healthcare services are being developed in addition to hospital care, enabling patients to enjoy better quality of life and local authorities to reduce costs. Home healthcare represents about 50% of Air Liquide's revenue in Healthcare in 2016.