Bill & Melinda Gates Fund HIV Prevention Implant
Bill and Melinda Gates continue to use their foundation's funds towards positive impact on the world. Their latest charitable investment? Funding an HIV-prevention implant!
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committing up to $140 million to help Boston biotech company Intarcia Therapeutics develop an HIV prevention device.
The funds will help Intarcia adapt its Medici technology program to deliver a steady stream of HIV medication to healthy patients over an extended period of time. The matchstick-sized device is similar to a birth control implant, dosing out medicine from a tiny pump embedded under the patient’s skin.
The anti-HIV prophylactic therapy would be administered to patients once or twice-yearly. Intarcia is also developing a drug delivery system to treat type 2 diabetes, using the Medici technology. The startup plans to begin delivering the diabetes medication to patients next year but development of the anti-HIV prophylactic is expected to take longer.
Intarcia’s pump will most likely begin rolling out in the U.S. and other wealthy countries, according to the Wall Street Journal. But the long-term goal is to bring the technology to parts of the developing world, like Sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV is endemic.
Once tested and available, would you be open to using an HIV prevention implant? One that could be administered once or twice a year?
(H/T: Joe. My. God.)