Johnson & Johnson Abandoning Insulin Pumps

By Cara LombardoFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Johnson & Johnson's Animas Corp. will close and exit the insulin pump business, the company said Thursday, citing increased competition that made selling the pumps unsustainable.

Sales of its Animas Vibe and OneTouch Ping pumps in the U.S. and Canada are discontinued immediately, the company said in a news release. The company said it is still evaluating the timing on exiting markets outside the U.S. and Canada.

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J&J said the 90,000 diabetes patients that use Animas products will be offered the option to transfer to a pump from Medtronic PLC. Medtronic has seen demand for its pumps skyrocket after the U.S. Food and Drug and Administration approved two new pumps -- the MiniMed 630G and MiniMed 670G -- within weeks of each other last year.

J&J has been streamlining its business as part of a strategic review. Earlier this year, Chief Executive Alex Gorsky had said the company was evaluating options for its diabetes businesses, including possible sales. The company recorded a $200 million charge in its second quarter, primarily related to the insulin pump business.

J&J said it is continuing to evaluate options for its other diabetes businesses including LifeScan Inc., which makes blood-glucose monitors, and OneTouch products.

"This decision was extremely difficult and comes following the extensive exploration of all other viable options for the Animas business," said Valerie Asbury, general manager of Animas, in prepared remarks.

Animas employs 410 people, but the company didn't say if employees would be laid off.

Write to Cara Lombardo at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 05, 2017 08:27 ET (12:27 GMT)