The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest $140 million ($50m in equity and $90m in grants) to support development of a matchstick-size implantable drug pump that could help prevent people in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere from becoming infected with HIV. The tiny, implantable pump that can hold a six- or 12-month supply of medicine is being developed by Boston-based Intarcia Therapeutics Inc., while the drug has not been identified yet.
Research for seraching an HIV and AIDS vaccine have been going on for over two decades, but at present the only drug approved for HIV prevention is Gilead’s Truvada, which significantly reduces the risk of HIV infection.
Also UK-based ViiV (GSK) has recently obtained encouraging results with cabotegravir which will be soon tested in a 4,500-patient clinical trial.
Furthermore Intarcia has already developed a drug-loaded minipump called ITCA 650 that treats type 2 diabetes.
The pump was tested in several Phase III trials and Intarcia plans to apply to the Food and Drug Administration in the next 30 to 60 days. Type 2 diabetes affects the vast majority of the more than 380 million people with diabetes worldwide. The global market for type 2 diabetes has been projected at $65 billion in annual sales by 2025.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe