I learned about this implant today in Biochemistry. It appealed to my science and design sides— so, naturally, I thought it was the coolest thing and made a note to blog it later.
Companies also are developing noninjection delivery mechanisms. For example, Intarcia Therapeutics is developing a GLP-1 receptor agonist implant, ITCA-650. This small osmotic pump is implanted subcutaneously and delivers therapeutics for nearly one year. In November, the company raised $210 million in financing, enabling global Phase III trials to begin the first quarter of 2013.
The drug delivery process is straightforward:
Intarcia Therapeutics’ delivery system is a matchstick-sized device consisting of a cylindrical titanium alloy reservoir. Once inserted under the skin, water from the extracellular fluid enters the device at one end, by diffusing through a semi-permeable membrane directly into a salt osmotic engine that expands to drive a piston at a controlled rate of travel. This forces the drug formulation to be released in a slow and consistent fashion through the exit port, or diffusion moderator, at the other end of the device.
I’d like to find a summer gig to learn more about the overlap between medicine and product design.
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