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Wearable and Ingestible Devices to Be Developed by Biogen

Wearable and Ingestible Devices to Be Developed by Biogen

George Scangos, CEO of Biogen, has said that wearable devices are going to “transform the way we do clinical trials.” More specifically, Scangos refers to a timed 25-foot walk test which is used as an endpoint in multiple sclerosis trials. In a video posted on the company’s website, Scangos comments, “Obviously it would be better to have some wearable on that patient that monitored their activity 24/7.”

“It may be a while before there’s a regulatory accepted endpoint,” said Scangos, “but it will be a shorter time before they are able to provide useful information to companies like us, as we conduct earlier stage clinical trials.”

According to an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the Biogen CEO wants to break into the wearable space. In the wake of a drop in sales of the company’s multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera, Scangos says he wants Biogen to diversify by performing research with the aim of developing wearable and ingestible devices.

Scangos told The Wall Street Journal, “Technology is radically changing the way we make scientific decisions, conduct research and seek to improve quality of life and health outcomes for patients.”

Newly-appointed technology chief Adriana Karaboutis, has begun to reorganize the company’s R&D division, which follows Scangos’ vision for the future of Biogen. In an effort to develop new technologies, Karaboutis has established a team whose focus will be on digital health technology including biosensors, and a group who will be studying data analytics.

This is not the company’s first venture into the medical technology sector. A previous Biogen research program established a link between increased physical activity levels in multiple sclerosis patients, and wearing a FitBit.

“This is about how do we help patients who see a doctor every six months have a real-time data capture,” said Karaboutis. Biogen also plans to use 1.6 billion records of genomic data to develop patient stratification risk reports.