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GETTING TO KNOW ENABLE INJECTIONS

Citation: “Getting to Know Enable Injections”. ONdrugDelivery Magazine, Issue 60 (Sep 2015), pp 24-29.

Here follow five mini-interviews with key Enable members. We asked each of them the same five questions, and their answers give interesting insights, from varied perspectives, into what really makes Enable Injections tick.

Enable Injections was founded in February 2010 in Cincinnati, OH, US, and develops and manufactures devices for patient self-administration of high volume / high viscosity drugs. The Enable Injector, which has just successfully completed its first-inhumans clinical trial, is a body-worn device that provides a comfortable injection experience allowing the patient administer their own medication and to continue with normal daily activities. It is designed to utilise any standard container closure system, including a syringe, vial or cartridge.

Since ONdrugDelivery Magazine first came into contact with Enable Injections, we keep on hearing how the company is all about its people. From one perspective, by “people” they mean they are always focused on the patients who will use their devices. However, “people” also very much means those who helped conceive and set-up the company and those who are working there to develop and bring the Enable device to market.

The importance of people is a strong theme with Enable, and so we thought we should get to know some of them!

MATTHEW HUDDLESTON

Vice-President, Product Development & Program Management, Enable Injections

Q  Please could you tell us a little about yourself? – your background and business interests, and your current connection with Enable?

A  From an education standpoint, I have a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Biomedical Engineering. I’ve been in medical device development and manufacturing for my entire career. Prior to Enable, I worked for a contract design and manufacturing company where I worked on various medical devices across multiple therapeutic areas. I have previous auto-injector experience, multi-axis machine experience, coronary bypass clips and delivery instruments, and laparoscopic accessories – so a wide range of device experience.

My current position at Enable is Vice- President of Product Development & Program Management, leading all of the efforts relating to product development. So I have a team of development engineers, as well test engineers and technicians, and human factors specialists. And I would definitely like to focus on the team and not necessarily me, because everyone has made a specific contribution.

Q  What attracted you to the company and made you think “yes, I want to be involved”?

A  Mike Hooven was on the board of my previous company and so that’s how I got to know Mike. I left my previous company to consult on my own for a couple of years and at that time, around 2010 or 2011, Mike contacted me and asked if I would like to engage with him in a start-up that would do subcutaneous injections of biologics. I knew Mike had a terrific track record with the work he had done with other companies, and that is largely what attracted me – his previous record of success.

In terms of the technology concept, I thought that was a good fit because of my previous experience in auto-injection technology. Looking back, the current technology is much different than the technology we founded the company on. The original technology was not well received by the industry and there were times early on that I thought this thing is not going to work out.

In fact learning that lesson, that the technology you start with is almost certainly not going to be the thing that you end up with, was one of the biggest, key things that I learnt early on. That was a painful transition, a painful letting go period. But Mike reassured us that it was the right way forward and he explained that we don’t just invest in technology, we invest in people and it is the people that will make the technology. That was a learning experience for me and at that stage I knew, hey, I’m with the right people here.

Q  Thinking about the Enable Injections device itself, what sets it apart in your view?

A  Its elegance and efficiency. All of the other wearable injection platforms being developed are a combination of a custom rigid container closure coupled with a drive mechanism. There are a few important distinctions in that statement. First, these container closures (typically glass cartridges) have one purpose, to hold the drug. They weren’t meant to be worn on the body. In addition, they’re custom to the injection platform. This means the drug company that, in most cases, originally developed the drug in a vial, must take on the additional time, cost and risk of revalidating the drug in this new custom container. Second, the drive mechanism must be adapted to the container. Depending on the technology, these drive mechanism can be very complicated with motors, sensors and other electronics that end up being very large to wear (with relatively low payload volumes) and complicated for the user to operate.

In contrast, the Enable Injections platform is a simple mechanical system. The container closure is the power source. So you’ve taken two complicated elements and combined them into one. Its elegance comes from its simplicity. The platform allows the pharma company to keep their drug in the original container closure reducing their risk and time to market. A particularly compelling efficiency can be seen when you to to larger payload volumes. While other companies are developing platforms up to 5 mL, their technology becomes unwearable in larger volumes. With the Enable device, when you go from 10 mL to 20 mL , you don’t double the size of the device. The change is size is minimal. In fact, I’m willing to compare Enable’s 50 mL device to someone else’s 5 mL device. I’m betting their sizes are not much different.

“We don’t just invest in technology, we invest in people and it is the people that will make the technology…”

Regarding the emerging field of wearable injections, what is your take on this industry sector – how is it doing and where is it headed in terms of impact on medicine and healthcare?

A  The really exciting thing, and this is going back to what attracted me to Enable too, is that as an individual you get into this field because you have a desire to help people. Often, when you work in medical devices it’s hard to make that connection. But here, at Enable, you can always see the direct connection, the direct value.

We were focused on human factors from almost day one, and from the beginning we were able to go out and ask people, “How will this change your life?” When they realise that this would mean they wouldn’t have to go out to the hospital anymore, they wouldn’t have to visit the clinic for their medication; seeing the effect of that and the effect it is going to have on the healthcare system is what it’s really about.

I’m an engineer. I don’t really understand the economics in detail. But I can recognise the value and that is what I see – someone is not going to have to get in their car and to go to the hospital. They are going to be able to perform this therapy at home, not be embarrassed, not have to change their lifestyle. You just put this thing on, pull your shirt down, and go about your business. I’ve read the market reports and they are saying that this is a potential $8 billion business. I’ve read all that but I appreciate more when patients can say, “I don’t have to be tethered to a line anymore!” That’s what I get excited about.

Q  Finally, if I say to you “Enable Injections”, tell me the three words that spring to your mind first?

A  Okay, I’m going to cheat a bit here and give you the three words I hear the most about Enable! I keep my family and my friends pretty involved, I talk about this on social media, so here is what I hear people say about the Enable device. The thing I hear most often is COOL. When I explain what it does, how it can change lives, people say, “How cool is this!” The second is SMALL. People who have looked at it on the website always mention how small it is when they actually hold it in their hands. It is a lot smaller than their expectation of its size from seeing images of it online. The third is OPPORTUNITY. Everyone recognises the opportunity we have to change people’s lives with our technology. Me personally, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of Enable Injections and to know and work with a great group of people who will ultimately make this successful.

RICHARD J D’AUGUSTINE

Founding Board Member, Enable Medical, Ethicon EndoSurgery and ArtiCure

Q  Please could you tell us a little about yourself? – your background and business interests, and your current connection with Enable?

My career has been relatively long, well over 30 years, and always connected with life sciences. I started with Johnson & Johnson back in the 1970s, with Ethicon. After a number of positions I was selected to manage the acquisition of a device partner in Cincinnati, Ohio. We had to set it up as a new business unit within Ethicon. This was how I met Mike Hooven; about a year in I was interviewing him for a product development director position within Ethicon. He was kind of young. The person he was going to be reporting to didn’t want to hire him! So we waited, but a few months later we were expanding and I brought Mike back in and hired him into Ethicon. We’ll talk about Mike more later.

So I stayed in Ethicon, went back to their New Jersey HQ for some time and was in business development there, responsible for putting together the strategy for what Ethicon should do in the then new market of what we then tended to call laparoscopy, now called minimal invasive surgery. I presented the strategy to the board, the board liked it, they brought in McKinsey & Co, who said it should be a separate company and so I moved back to Cincinnati and became one of the founding board members of Ethicon Endosurgery. So I’ve been involved with the whole Ethicon-Cincinnati connection since the beginning, from picking the site where we built the building.

“The drug manufacturers don’t have to do anything different – they can put it in the same standard vial…”

I left a couple of years later after licensing in several products and getting the thing going and I had the taste for developing a new technology that was starting a new industry. I then went to work for SenMed Medical Ventures for five years and then became CEO of a drug delivery company, UMD. After UMD, I went to work for CincyTech, which is a local seed investor, a public/private partnership.

I was at CincyTech and was also one of the founding members, with Mike, of his first company, Enable Medical, as well as AtriCure. I’ve known and worked with Mike for quite a long time. After Mike decided to become less active at AtriCure, he was doing some consulting at CincyTech and that’s how we got talking to the people at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. I was Executive in Residence at CincyTech, Mike was consulting, and Cincinnati Children’s had a painless injection technology. We decided to start a company around it. Mike was working on several other new technologies as well but once this injection technology started to take over we began to really focus.

CincyTech invested in Enable back then. I left CincyTech a little while later and now I’m an independent consultant focusing in the life sciences. I do a lot of work with universities, early-stage technologies, little companies, I serve on a couple of boards. I am on the Enable Injections board and I am an investor as well.

Q  What attracted you to the company and made you think “yes, I want to be involved”?

Mike Hooven is a unique individual. I’ve worked with tonnes and tonnes of really clever engineers and inventors and he really does just stand out, he’s just a head-and-shoulders above. He’s a truly inspirational leader and if you get to know him you quickly begin to see he has an effect on people. My attraction to Enable injections was therefore obviously Mike. And also the product. We were talking with people from Childrens hospital as they were, and still are, a strong supporter of CincyTech. I happened to be on the board of a scoliosis device company that came out of Children’s Hospital and the inventor of that device was a surgeon who was a creative guy. Years earlier he’d come up with this idea for a painless injector. So he’d had this idea, it made a lot of sense, but the problem was that they brought in an engineer and the reduction to practice was about the size of a coffee cup.

I can tell you that Mike sat there and looked at it and just said that’s not going to ever work, look, we ought to do it like this. Within 20 minutes he had started drawing designs on the blackboard. I said, “Can you actually do this?” And this is typical Mike: he said: “Leave it with me, let me go home and play around with it.” And sure enough a couple of days later he comes back and says he did some work and, “Here, I can do it and the device is about the size of a quarter.” And that was the idea for the painless injection device. Then we got started, put a little money together, he went to some of his core people that were involved with him at AtriCure as investors. Since I was working for CincyTech I couldn’t invest personally at this time, though I would have obviously!

Of course his invention, his idea, was different from any of the other ideas that anyone had come up with. Typical Mike again – he doesn’t want solutions, he likes to be given a problem and he goes away and he comes up with the solution, and that’s exactly what happened here.

When I left CincyTech, Mike asked me to join the Enable Injections board, together with others we’d known for some time including Norm Weldon, Don Harrison and Karen Robards.

Mike really brings the team together. Besides being a great inventor, he uses his board better than almost any other startup company CEO I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been involved with many. He doesn’t think he knows all of the answers, and when he needs help he asks for it, and he brings people in. He has a way of integrating input from others – pretty sophisticated people in other fields.

Q  Thinking about the Enable Injections device itself, what sets it apart in your view?

The device is elegant, simple, it’s versatile and, crucially, it’s user focused, which I think is critical. I wouldn’t say that pharma and biotech companies are not user focused, but their focus is on the therapeutic. Enable did a lot of research into what the user needed, what the patient needed, what was going to help the patient. Even the button is designed so that if the injection gets painful, or for whatever reason, you can stop it for a while.

The device is smaller than I think most if not all of the others. The drug manufacturers don’t have to do anything different – they can put it in the same standard vial. It answers so many of the right questions. It should be a positive for the healthcare system in multiple ways – to the patient, to the healthcare provider, the payer, the drug company itself.

It’s so well thought out, so well designed, solves a lot of problems – I’m personally genuinely really excited about it.

Q  Regarding the emerging field of wearable injections, what is your take on this industry sector – how is it doing and where is it headed in terms of impact on medicine and healthcare?

A  Enable didn’t start with this giant market opportunity, although that developed pretty quickly. Biologics already account for half of the top ten drugs by sales, and it’s only going to get stronger. And so helping to solve this delivery problem is a huge opportunity.

Like I said, I’ve been around for a while. This wearable injectors market, at this stage, reminds me of the early days of minimally invasive surgery. There were some people getting involved, things were happening, things were changing, some big players were starting to get interested. Sure a bunch of companies were doing laparoscopic procedures for a long time but they were little metal reusable devices. And then suddenly somebody did a successful cholecystectomy and then “BOOM”. And I think we’re almost at that stage with wearable injectors. I think we’re about to enter that stage when … well as soon as one these products hits the market the whole thing is going to explode. Honestly, I think that once it does start there will be a feeding frenzy amongst the big players. They’ll say, “We have to have something like that!” which is exactly what happened in the early days of minimally invasive surgery.

It’s a game changer. I truly believe that. There aren’t a lot of them in the device world – angioplasty, stents, for example – but they are there, and I think this is going to be one of them.

Q  Finally, if I say to you “Enable Injections”, tell me the three words that spring to your mind first?

A  The first one is maybe obvious but it’s INNOVATIVE. The second is CONFIDENCE. The third is LEADERSHIP. Leadership in terms of Mike Hooven’s inspirational leadership, and the board he has gathered together. If you look at this little company, it has truly world class people on the board. I also say leadership because I believe Enable is going to be a market leader.

MICHAEL D HOOVEN

Founder & CEO of Enable Injections


Q
 
Please could you tell us a little about yourself? – your background and business interests, and your current connection with Enable?

A  I was born in Michigan, grew up in Boston, worked in Miami and Los Angeles. My first job was for a medical device company by the name of Cordis, which at that time was being run by Norman Weldon. I have known Norm ever since then, he has been my mentor and helped me start up all of my companies. I’ve been medical devices for 31 years, started in neurosurgical engineering with Cordis, moved on to manage sensor, and then lead, and then pacemaker development for Siemens Pacesetter in Los Angeles. I then came to Cincinnati to help Ethicon start their Endo- Surgery business. I was responsible for all internal product development and my team and I recruited and hired over 200 engineers from all over the country. And the great thing about that is that when I started working for them I told them I was going to start my own company in about five years, and then after six years I started my company on very good terms and was able to hire quite a few people out of Ethicon for my first company, Enable Medical, and for my second company, AtriCure.

Enable Injections is my third company, based here in Ohio. The great thing about being in Ohio is that I have established a good reputation in terms of being able to recruit and retain really good people and in terms of being able to build successful companies that develop, manufacture and release highly successful products into the market place. Based on that, we have a lot of support from the State and from institutions within the State. We think that Enable Injections is positioned really well as one of the premier medical device companies in Ohio and we believe, soon, also in the US.

Q  What attracted you to the idea of creating the company and made you think “yes, I want to do this”?

A  I was consulting at CincyTech and Bob Coy, the then CEO, put me in touch with the people at the Cincinnati Childrens Hospital. It’s a terrific organisation. They had a project they had been working on for almost ten years but they really hadn’t been able to get a lot of traction. They’d spent a fair amount of money and even done some clinical trials. A very innovative doctor there had invented a technology for painless children’s vaccines.

That really started me on the path to Enable Injections and I started working with people at Childrens Hospital, we put together a very small founding round of funding, and developed an initial technology based on the painless device for children’s vaccinations. As has happened in every single one of my start-up companies the technology that we began the company with and raised initial funding for turned out to be different from the technology we actually moved ahead with. We changed the technology to a high volume body worn injector, but we were able to utilise virtually all of the experience and ten years of clinical work that had been done at Childrens Hospital on what causes injection pain and ways to make injections essentially painless. We think this served as a terrific foundation to move into the new technology area.

Q  Thinking about the Enable Injections device itself, what sets it apart in your view?

A  A crucial thing that sets Enable apart from anyone else is that we allow the pharma companies to utilise absolutely standard container closure. That results in a number of significant advantages.

First, any change to a container closure requires that the pharma company test the drug with that container closure for a period of two years of more. We have experience with working with pharma companies who discovered after 18 months that their biologic was not compatible with a new container closure material. So first and foremost what Enable allows the pharma company to do is to eliminate all of the cost, all of the risk and all of the time associated with packaging their drug in a new container closure.

Secondly, because the Enable system has a very simple and intuitive way of transferring the drug from the standard container closure (standard vial) into the device, this allows the patient to wear a device where the container within the device is also the delivery system. So we’re not forcing the patient to wear a container closure that really wasn’t designed for drug delivery or to be worn. This then allows the Enable Injections device to be significantly smaller, lighter and lower profile and it enables us to have devices that the patient can wear that can deliver considerably higher volumes than anyone else.

The third area where we are unique is that our transfer system actually warms the drug during the transfer process so that the patient can use the device immediately the standard vial containing their drug is taken out of the refrigerator. This, we hear from users, is a compelling benefit.

Fourthly, we have the only system that allows for fully automated reconstitution of lyophilised drugs. The user simply inserts the diluent and the powder vial containers into the system and everything else is completely automated so we completely remove the user from the mixing process.

Q  Regarding the emerging field of wearable injections, what is your take on this industry sector – how is it doing and where is it headed in terms of impact on medicine and healthcare?

A  I believe this is going to be one of the biggest and fastest growing areas in all of medical devices. There are a number of reasons for this. In the next ten years there are going to be over $250 billion sales of biologic drugs, $50 billion of those are going to be new drugs, drugs that currently don’t exist.

“Our transfer system actually warms the drug during the transfer process so that the patient can use the device immediately the standard vial containing their drug is taken out of the refrigerator. This, we hear from users, is a compelling benefit…”

What we are hearing from our pharmaceutical partners is that the only alternatives they have for delivering these drugs are either multiple injections or intravenous injection. What the high volume body worn injector is going to do is first of all allow the patient to do their injection at home, so there is a tremendous patient benefit. Secondly it is going to remove a significant amount of cost from the healthcare system. If you only think of all of the businesses that are currently set up to deliver intravenous drugs, with we believe that a large number of new biologics can be delivered with our device as opposed to intravenously you have a huge reduction in overall healthcare costs. Pharmaceutical companies are giving these devices away to customers for the most part whereas the cost of an intravenous infusion can be many thousands of dollars.

The payers are driving this as well. They are saying: here I have the choice of reimbursing one drug where the patient simply takes the device at home, puts it on their body presses a button and then throws it away when they have finished, and all I’m paying for is the drug. This is versus having the patient spend hours getting to a clinic and paying healthcare professionals to administer that drug intravenously. I think they are going to pay for the wearable product where they don’t have to pay all these extra costs, where the patient healthcare benefit is higher and where the compliance is greater.

Q  Finally, if I say to you “Enable Injections”, tell me the three words that spring to your mind first?

A  Number one is the PEOPLE. That means the people in Enable, and the people the product is going to benefit. Then there is the PRODUCT. And there is our PRODUCTION EXPERTISE in devices. I think you put all three of those things together and we stand head-and-shoulders above everybody else.

JEANNIE JOUGHIN

Vice-President, Corporate Development, Enable Injections


Q
 
Please could you tell us a little about yourself? – your background and business interests, and your current connection with Enable?

A  I have been in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years and most recently I was with CSL Behring, for over ten years. I’ve worked in clinical research, sales and marketing and business development during my time within pharmaceuticals, and my most recent role within CSL Behring was Vice-President of Business Development. I came to know Enable Injections when at CSL we were looking for a technology to deliver our products via subcutaneous infusion. We evaluated several platforms and we licensed the Enable Injector for two therapeutic areas.

I made the decision in 2014 that I would be moving on from CSL Behring, and I joined Enable Injections just three months ago. So my current connection with Enable is that I am the company’s Vice-President of Corporate Development.

What attracted you to the company and made you think “yes, I want to be involved”?

A  The culture at Enable Injections attracted me. Meeting Mike Hooven and the team, while I was at CSL, working through how their technology could be applied to various CSL products, I found Enable to be incredibly responsive to different issues. They were dynamic in coming up with solutions and product changes that were required for CSL Behring’s therapeutic areas. That innovative and responsive culture really spoke to me. I really like that environment and I could see how their device would be able to be applied to many other therapeutic areas. I personally wanted to be able to help bring that device to patients requiring chronic subcutaneous infusion in other therapeutic areas.

Q  Thinking about the Enable Injections device itself, what sets it apart in your view?

A  A key difference is the technology – because it does not have the primary container closure embedded in the device, it can be a lot smaller and have a smaller footprint. The device that we have is this yo-yo, “Oreo” sort of small, round, friendly looking object. So that when patients see it they get a smile on their face. It’s not a scary device. It doesn’t look “mechanical”, it doesn’t have flashing lights and sirens, so people – including children, but people of all ages and abilities – relate to it really well. That’s where it stands apart the other devices.

“I found Enable to be incredibly responsive to different issues. They were dynamic in coming up with solutions and product changes that were required for CSL Behring’s therapeutic areas. That innovative and responsive culture really spoke to me. I personally like that environment…”

In a couple of focus groups in two different therapeutic areas, there were some really memorable patient responses to the injector. People are willing to pick it up. There’s no needle visible. They say it looks “really cool”, “not scary” – these were the sorts of comments we got. Parents said that if this could be made available, they could see how this would dramatically change the lives of their children. From small children to older children, they said it would provide a lot more freedom and they would have the convenience to get on and do what children normally do. Potentially attending college was an example. Whereas as the idea of attending college was difficult for some young adults because they didn’t want people to know that they had this disease, the discreet nature of the Enable device reassured them that they could go there and get on with their lives and no-one would need to know they had a chronic illness.

Q  Regarding the emerging field of wearable injections, what is your take on this industry sector – how is it doing and where is it headed in terms of impact on medicine and healthcare?

A  We’re poised to see a release of these injectors into several therapeutic areas. There is an unmet need to deliver higher volume or higher viscosity products subcutaneously – products that already exist. There’s an unmet need from companies looking at what are currently IV-only formulations that they want to develop to be subcutaneous. Usually, if you want to deliver subcutaneously you have to deliver higher volumes. To avoid having to spend years going through reformulation processes to concentrate the product and reduce volume, pharmaceutical companies would have the ability to bring products to market and the patient earlier with the Enable device. That’s one perspective. Another perspective is that wearable injectors will mean that people won’t be so inconvenienced because they won’t have to go into hospital to have infusions. That should be a really big driver – patients wanting to manage their own healthcare in the home, and being more responsible for the delivery of their own healthcare. Having these devices in the future will just allow them the flexibility to do that. So you see there is a push and a pull.

Q  Finally, if I say to you “Enable Injections”, tell me the three words that spring to your mind first?

A  PATIENT-CENTRIC, INNOVATIVE, and COLLABORATIVE!

ROBERT W COY, JR

President and CEO, CincyTech


Q
 
Please could you tell us a little about yourself? – your background and business interests, and your current connection with Enable?

A  I’ve been in the seed stage investment business since 1983, investing in technology and bioscience companies. Across my career I’ve been involved in start-ups in the state of Delaware, Pennsylvania, the St Louis metropolitan area and now Cincinnati. I’ve been with CincyTech now for ten years. We focus primarily in the software sector and the bioscience sectors. For us biosciences include pharma, medical devices, biotech, diagnostics and health-tech. We focus on opportunities that are in our metropolitan area and we’ve invested in 58 companies since we formed our fund in 2007. Out of our funds we’ve invested $26 million in those companies. And another $480 million has been invested in them by institutional venture funds, high-net-worth individuals and others, under the same terms. We work very closely with two research institutions – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and the University of Cincinnati. Most of our healthcare deal flow comes out of those two institutions. We’ve invested in eight companies that are based on technology that was developed at Cincinnati Childrens, and Enable is one of those companies, and one of the most exciting.

I moved to Cincinnati in 2005 and met Mike Hooven in 2006. When Mike stepped down from his executive role at his previous company, AtriCure – around 2009 – we retained him at CincyTech and asked him to go to the Children’s Hospital and the University to interact with research faculties and find a disruptive technology that could be commercialised through a start-up. He met an orthopaedic surgeon named Dr Eric Wall who had invented the initial concept for a painless injection system. Mike evaluated it and saw potential, formed the company, Enable Injections, licensed the technology, and CincyTech was the first investor. It’s interesting because it shows how you can pull technology out of research institutions. You find someone like Mike, who’s a brilliant innovator and entrepreneur. You marry him or her up with a brilliant researcher who has no entrepreneurial expertise, and together they make something great.

What attracted you to the company and made you think “yes, I want to be involved”?

“It’s light,small, it’s elegant and not cumbersome, it can easily be concealed under a patient’s shirt, and they can continue about their business while the drug is being delivered…”

A  We weren’t fully aware in the beginning of how large the market could be for this technology and Mike over time evolved the concept significantly. Initially Enable Injections was going to be a less painful way for injecting drugs and Mike evolved it then in a way that we really didn’t anticipate at the time, which is often the case with start-ups. He saw a huge market opportunity in, and need for, more cost effective, less painful, more convenient ways to deliver highly viscous biologic drugs.

Many of these drugs need to be delivered on an out-patient basis either intravenously or through a port, or using electronic delivery systems that are awkward and not comfortable. I think what Mike has developed is a really elegant delivery system that will enable the drug to be delivered more conveniently and comfortably to the patient, and at considerably less expense to the healthcare system. My personal view is that pharma companies today realise that the method of delivery of these kinds of drugs can be a real differentiator, and can give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Q  Thinking about the Enable Injections device itself, what sets it apart in your view?

A  One of the things that I really like about the Enable system is that it doesn’t require an electronic pump. It’s very light, small, it’s elegant and not cumbersome, it can easily be concealed under a patient’s shirt, and the patient can continue to go about their business while the drug is being delivered. You don’t have to go to a hospital to be hooked up to a pump machine. It’s a more convenient method of delivery. Enable has conducted a lot of human factors studies on patients and the feedback from them, people who are currently having these drugs delivered via conventional methods, is phenomenal. They love the Enable system, for all of these reasons.

Q  Regarding the emerging field of wearable injections, what is your take on this industry sector – how is it doing and where is it headed in terms of impact on medicine and healthcare?

A  Many pharma and biotech companies today recognise that a better method of delivery is necessary so they have efforts underway to address this. My understanding is that this is being driven in part by the FDA, which is looking at the method of delivery, and the degree of pain and discomfort it involves, as one of the criteria for drug approval. For these reasons, pharma companies now view the systems that deliver their drugs as core to their business. It’s no longer just about the drug and whether or not it works. Especially these viscous biologic drugs that cannot be delivered via a traditional syringe but require other systems.

Q  Finally, if I say to you “Enable Injections”, tell me the three words that spring to your mind first?

A  I’d say COMFORT, CONVENIENCE and COST-EFFECTIVENESS!

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