Diabetes Innovator: Patrick Mooney
Patrick Mooney, MD, CEO
Straight out of his surgical residency, Patrick Mooney, MD, headed to Wall Street. It was an odd choice for a doctor, but Mooney wanted to create medical devices. He worked with a few start-ups, but the experience had him longing to help people in a more immediate way. Enter Sontra Medical, which was developing a noninvasive blood glucose monitor. It merged with Mooney's fledgling enterprise, which was creating a through-the-skin drug delivery system, to form what is now Echo Therapeutics.
Echo focused on one goal: needle-free blood glucose monitoring, a target the company seems close to realizing. Its leading product continuously monitors glucose without a needle (for more on that, see "Symphony tCGM," p. 32), something Mooney says will be a major benefit when it becomes available, first in hospitals and then for individuals.
The development hasn't been a cinch, though. The biggest obstacle, at the start, was consistently reading glucose levels for 24 hours. Dead cells constantly accumulate, making it difficult for a biosensor to recognize the glucose beneath the skin. The solution is the company's Prelude skin-prep system, which sloughs off dead skin cells.
Though development is still under way, Echo Therapeutics is making headway. Early studies have been favorable. Why has Mooney stuck with the product for six years and counting? "Continuous monitoring in theory and practice is better than noncontinuous," he says. "Needle free … it's a medical need clearly, and a more compassionate way to do it."