Hagar Lands Funding To DevelopNoninvasive Glucose Monitoring Watch
Source: AlamyBLOOD GLUCOSE AND INSULIN MOLECULES
Hagar is planning to put its GWave non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology in a smartwatch and eventually sell the technology to a larger medtech player that can market it globally.
Unlike other non-invasive CGM technologies that infer blood glucose levels from measurements in the users’ interstitial fluid, GWave's technology images glucose in the blood to create real-time readings with over 95% accuracy, according to the Tel Aviv, Israel-based company. (Also see "Needles Are Out, Future Tech Is In, For Blood Glucose Measurement" - Medtech Insight, 26 May, 2021.)
On 12 August, Hagar announced an $11.7m series B funding round, led by returning investor Columbia Pacific. Along with a $4.4m series A round, announced in March, this brings Hagar’s total funding to $17.1m.
The funds will pay for clinical trials to support US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and allow the company to secure international patents to protect its intellectual property.
Hagar’s radiofrequency technology was invented by Gerry Waintraub, the company’s chief technology officer and co-founder, who researches radiofrequency technology at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. During an experiment, he accidentally spilled tea on a radiofrequency device and noticed that the system’s
monitors reacted to the sugar in the tea, and he hypothesized that radiofrequency
technology could be used to noninvasively detect glucose in blood.
Bentzi Gruber, the chairman and co-founder of Hagar, told Medtech Insight, “What we
get [with our radiofrequency monitor] is a kind of photo of the blood.” What also makes
Hagar’s technology unique are the computer algorithms that allow it to specifically
identify and measure glucose. “The challenge is how to take out all of the noise that’s
coming from the enzymes and other stuff [so] what remains is only the signal that is
coming from the glucose,” he said.
Hagar expects that GWave could also be applied to preventive care because it detects
elevated glucose levels in so-called “pre-diabetic” patients.
Creating A New Wearable
The first generation GWave device is a third of the size of a smartphone and it uses less
radiofrequency energy than a smartphone, according to Hagar.
With the latest round of financing, the company will be able to develop GWave 2.0, a
sensor that can be directly integrated into a smartwatch and seamlessly connected to a
smartphone application that lets users and health care providers track glucose readings
on their phones.
Taire Rubin, co-founder and vice-president of business development for Hagar,
told Medtech Insight, “The research we’ve seen and done with so many people with
diabetes, including people who are pre-diabetic, shows that they really want it to be
comfortable, accessible and lightweight, so something like a wearable makes the most
“Our first goal is to get [GWave] to market as soon as
possible, and we believe the best strategy for that is
going to be with one of these very large companies in
the diabetic space today.” – Taire Rubin
The company is planning to secure FDA approval of the GWave system as soon as
possible, Rubin said. To support the approvals, the company will launch the first of two
planned clinical studies in Israel later this year.
Irl Hirsch, an endocrinologist and diabetes specialist at the University of Washington in
Seattle, is working with Hagar to design the studies.
“The support provided by Hagar and its GWave technology to people with diabetes is
truly life-changing,” Hirsch said in a release. “With greater than 95% accuracy, GWave’s
technology is an exciting turning point in the world of diabetes research and therapy.”
Finding A Buyer
Hagar plans to sell its technology to a major medtech company that can commercialize
GWave widely and Rubin said Hagar is in talks with “some of the big companies” about
a possible deal to acquire the GWave technology.
“Our first goal is to get this to market as soon as possible, and we believe the best
strategy for that is going to be with one of these very large companies in the diabetic
space today,” Rubin said. “And there are quite a few of them that can certainly take what
we've developed and integrate it into their products or, certainly, into their company’s
[diabetes business] and then take it from there and do the commercialization.”
The leading competitors in the glucose monitoring market include Abbott, Dexcom,
Roche, Ascensia Diabetes Care, LifeScan, Medtronic, Senseonics, and dozens of other
According to a recent report from Informa’s Meddevicetracker, the market for blood
glucose monitoring devices will reach $19.7bn by 2025 driven by demand for smaller,
more convenient devices with improved digital capabilities. (Also see "Market Intel:
Glucose Monitor Market Set To Explode As Patients Access Better Devices" - Medtech
Insight, 25 May, 2021.)