In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 24.7 million people are living with the HIV virus, accounting for 71 percent of the global total. With 2.1 million individuals having contracted HIV worldwide in 2015 alone, the virus shows no sign of relenting without defensive action being taken.
Although considered incurable, HIV transmission can be prevented through a technique called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). This process involves individuals with a high risk of contracting HIV taking medicine every day to prevent the chances of becoming infected. Intarica Therapeutics has developed a tiny automatic drug pump implant to improve this process further, and has received $140 million in funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Intarica’s drug pump uses a Medici Drug Delivery System process to repeatedly deliver HIV treatment to patients over an extended period of time. This matchstick size pump is embedded under the dermal layer of a patient’s skin, where it resides for 6 to 12 months as it periodically administers the preventive drug.
Intarica Therapeutics and the Gates Foundation have not yet decided which HIV preventive drug will be used in the pump as the device will not be seen on the market for several years due to regulations. However, once sold, the company and foundation have made an agreement to ensure that access to the pump will be available in developing countries, specifically sub-Saharan Africa where the HIV epidemic is most severe.
Innovative medical devices, such as the drug pump implant, continue to revolutionize the life sciences industry, creating efficient and safe methods to help patients. Eclipse Automation specializes in medical device assembly, including blood collection and drug delivery devices, that provide custom turn-key solutions for your specific needs.