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Aptitude Medical Systems of Santa Barbara Gets $223,839 Grant to Aid Research

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Friday announced that Aptitude Medical Systems Inc. in Santa Barbara received a $223,839 grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to conduct diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic research.

Aptitude is developing a real-time insulin sensor that could improve the lives of millions of diabetes patients.

In the United States, 26 million people have diabetes and 79 million have pre-diabetes. Those living with diabetes often require insulin injections to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Insulin, however, is a potent substance with a narrow therapeutic range — meaning the difference between too much and too little is very small. Too much or too little insulin can have severe consequences.

Currently, an individual’s insulin levels are estimated based on glucose levels using models, but the actual levels can be different and can vary dramatically from person to person due to a variety of factors including physical activity or diet.

Aptitude, an early stage company spun out of UCSB, is making a hand-held device that can measure insulin concentrations on the spot, in real time. This device could ensure more accurate insulin administration, protect against failure of glucose monitors or insulin pumps, track insulin resistance, and improve diabetes management.

“Diabetes is a serious illness that has a significant effect on the individual health of millions of Americans and our nation’s health care spending as a whole,” Capps said. “Aptitude is developing a technology that could potentially have a huge impact. I am proud that, once again, the small businesses of the Central Coast are leading the way in high-tech research that has the potential to help millions of people.”

“We are thrilled to gain the support of the NIDDK, who recognizes both this unmet need that affects millions of people, and our unique ability to address it,” said Dr. B. Scott Ferguson, CEO of Aptitude Medical Systems Inc. “This is the second grant we have received from the NIH this year. We were also fortunate to have received a $1.7M Fast Track SBIR Grant to develop a new class of molecules to enable better, faster and more cost effective detection of a wide range of diseases. Our preliminary results in this project are already encouraging, and we believe these funds will be instrumental in reaching success.”

The grant is one of the National Institute of Health’s Small Business Innovation Research Grants.

Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

 

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