Intarcia Therapeutics will start developing a potential HIV Prevention Implant as they have been joined in their mission by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
HIV has put the world face to face with a grave problem. The disease is somewhat more under control than it was before. Just recently, research confirmed the potential effectiveness of a vaccine.
A large-scale, experimental pre-exposure drug trial will be carried out sometime soon. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the involved parties in the respective trials.
However, the Foundation will do more than just try to prevent a potential future outbreak. It will also support and fund a new study. The foundation will offer financial support for an HIV prevention implant, a new technology.
Intarcia Therapeutics will be the one to develop such a tech. The pharmaceutical company is headquartered in Hayward, California.
Now, the pharma company will turn to studying and trying to develop an HIV prevention implant. It will be helped in doing so by the recent funding.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be offering a funding of up to $140 million. This will be spread out and target specific steps of the research.
As such, the initial development step will receive $50 million. The $90 million difference will be tied to subsequent research milestones. If proven effective, the foundation will reportedly continue funding its development.
HIV prevention drugs are already available. They can contribute to a great reduction of the risks of contracting the HIV virus. Such drugs have been approved by the World Health Association.
However, they are only effective if taken regularly and consistently. As such, the HIV prevention implant could come as an added bonus. It would come as an aid, especially to people more susceptible to the disease.
An initial such device will be quite small, close in size to a matchstick. It would work by dosing out the medicine from a pump. This would be embedded under the skin’s dermal layer.
It could help deliver a consistent, non-stop flow of the drug. The mini-pump would be appropriately sized. Its volume would have to be big enough so as to ensure a yearly supply of medicine.
Intarcia is also planning on further developing this technology. It will reportedly set out to create its own prevention drug. This would also be administered through an HIV prevention implant.
Users could, as such, avoid taking drugs or pills. Pharma researchers are hoping to create a once or twice a year anti-HIV prophylactic therapy.
Such a therapy should lead to an increased adherence. It could, therefore, lead to a higher degree of effectiveness.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO, Sue Desmond-Hellmann, went to offer details. According to her, there is a great need for a daily HIV prevention tool. More exactly, for a prevention tool that could be integrated more straightforwardly into the lives of those with an HIV/AIDS risk.
As such, Desmond-Hellmann expressed the foundation and Intarcia’s dream. The two are hoping for an implantable device that could ensure a prophylactic therapy. Such a device would reportedly make a great difference in the lives of those that most need it.
Intarcia will be trying to enhance the therapy’s efficiency and improve its outcome. It will also try to ensure its continuous administration and also the tolerability of the drug therapy.
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