Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation is spending $140 million in the development of a tiny implantable medicine pumping device which sits in people’s bodies and prevents them from HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
The device, capable of storing 6 or 12-month dosage, is being developed by a Boston-based pharma company Intarcia Theraputics Inc., which announced the funding from the Foundation in a press release.
The aim of the device, placed under the dermal layer, is to facilitate a constant delivery of anti-HIV drug at a regular interval, thus, removing the need of taking medicines on a daily. Such applications can be beneficial in regions like the sub-Saharan Africa where the HIV is a serious threat. It implements an HIV prevention technique known as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), which is an effort to treat potential patients before they are diagnosed with HIV.
Intarcia has also created a version of the device for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. In the case of HIV version, Intarcia is yet to figure out the drug which is to be placed in the matchstick-sized mini pump.
An HIV-infected person develops AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). The disease degrades the immune system of the body over time, i.e., it breaks the disease-fighting mechanism of the body. AIDS currently falls in the category of incurable diseases. Although, medicines can be taken to extend the life of the patients. Developments like these can be a breakthrough in the treatment of AIDS.