Gates Foundation Invests Up to $140M in Implant That Prevents HIV

Published 06, Jan, 2017
Author // Guest Authors - Revolving Door

Intarcia Therapeutics develops tiny implants that release meds. Here’s why they may be better than daily pills.

Gates Foundation Invests Up to $140M in Implant That Prevents HIV

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is investing as much as $140 million in Intarcia Therapeutics Inc. so the company can develop an implant that could prevent HIV, Bloomberg reports.

Gates will provide $50 million upfront so that Intarcia can use its proprietary implant technology called the Medici Drug Delivery System to develop an HIV prevention that could be administered once or twice a year. If Intarcia’s research on the prophylaxis continues to move forward, the Gates Foundation may give up to $90 million more for the effort.

Intarcia’s implants are matchstick-size devices that get implanted under the skin and release medication continuously. It is now seeking regulatory approval for a device that will deliver a diabetes drug, Bloomberg reports.

The hope is that the device will also be able to deliver anti-HIV meds, particularly to communities across the globe at high risk of the virus. Implants may offer better protection because people would no longer have to adhere to a daily pill regimen for optimum effectiveness.

“There’s a vital need for an HIV/AIDS intervention that allows those at risk to incorporate prevention more easily into their daily lives. We feel optimistic about our partnership with Intarcia and the prospect of an implantable prophylactic device that could make a world of difference for people most in need,” said Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in an Intarcia press release.

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Guest Authors - Revolving Door

Guest Authors - Revolving Door

The Revolving Door is the place where we publish occasional articles by guest writers. If you would like to submit an article for publication, please contact editor Bob Leahy at