UK-based Nemaura Medical Inc (NASDAQ:NMRD) announced Tuesday that it had signed an exclusive licensing and distribution agreement with Doha-based Al-Danah Medical Co to commercially launch sugarBEAT, the world’s first painless non-invasive glucose monitor, in Qatar in 2019.
The Al-Danah Medical Company is part of the large Almana Group, a leading medical product distributor in Qatar, representing multiple global brands.
The city-state of Qatar, the wealthiest peninsula on the planet, has among the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and genetic disorders in the world.
“Qatar is a significant market in that it has one of the world’s highest GDP, a highly subsidized healthcare system, and one of the highest prevalences of diabetes. Despite its minuscule population, we could have as many adopters of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices in Qatar, as in the UK,” said Nemaura Medical CEO Dr Faz Chowdhury.
“It’s a market not to be underestimated,” he pointed out.
Big overseas market
Qatar has one of the world’s highest prevalence of diabetes, with 17% of the country’s approximately 2.64 million population diabetic, and 23% pre-diabetic.
Significantly, Qatar is also close neighbors with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE, where diabetes rates are rising.
SugarBEAT which has been honed and perfected over seven years is expected to receive CE approval in the UK over the next few weeks. The CE mark is also required for sugarBEAT to launch commercially in Qatar.
With sugarBEAT, Nemaura is sizing up a $3 billion European market opportunity for CGM devices. The advanced glucose monitoring device could prove a boon for 3.7 million people aged 18 or older who are living with diabetes in the UK.
“The registration process in Qatar is relatively straightforward and can be accomplished within a matter of weeks as opposed to the year it can take in Europe, and up to two years in the United States,” said Chowdhury.
“This significantly reduces the timeline to get to market, albeit the CE approval must first be obtained to register in Qatar,” noted Chowdhury.
BIG PICTURE: Nemaura is a red hot medtech stock with a winner in its painless sugarBEAT glucose monitor
The CEO said that given the “the high GDP of Qatar” the price-point can be “stronger” thus offering “better margins” for selling Nemaura’s sugarBEAT in the Middle East.
With the UK launch, Nemaura which has a market cap of roughly $408 million, will get traction and strong near-term revenue.
SugarBEAT, which is a non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring device for use by persons with Type I and Type II diabetes, as well as for screening prediabetic patients, is likely to disrupt the market.
SugarBEAT consists of a daily disposable adhesive skin-patch connected to a rechargeable transmitter, with an app displaying glucose readings at five-minute intervals for periods up to 24 hours. The innovation of sugarBEAT lies in its groundbreaking skin-patch technology which allows for better glucose management.
A predecessor sugarBEAT device from Nemaura, which was based on a wired wrist-watch form factor, received CE Mark approval in 2016.
Chowdhury, a serial inventor and entrepreneur, is the brains behind sugarBEAT. The pharmaceutical scientist received his PhD in Nanomedicine from the University of Oxford. Today, Chowdhury holds 50 patents on drug delivery systems and sensors, across 15 technology platforms.
Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]