- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation plans to invest $50 million in Boston-based Intarcia Therapeutics, aiming to support development of an anti-HIV prophylactic for use in sub-Saharan Africa and other global hotspots for the immune disease.
- Intarcia, known for its work on a matchstick-sized, implantable GLP-1 pump for treatment of diabetes, said in a release at the end of December it had raised $206 million as part of a Series EE equity financing.
- In addition to the $50 million equity investment, the Gates Foundation lined up milestone-payments worth as much as $90 million depending on progress on the HIV prophylactic program.
Intarcia's drug delivery platform, dubbed "Medici", is an implantable mini-pump, which relies on osmosis from diffusion of extracellular fluid to drive a piston that steadily releases the medicine contained in the device. According to Intarcia, each mini-pump can hold enough drug to treat a patient for up to one year.
The company recently submitted a new drug application for ITCA 650, an experimental drug-device combo for treatment of type 2 diabetes. ITCA 650 uses the Medici mini-pump to subcutaneously release the GLP-1 agonist exenatide over the course of a year.
Money from the Gates Foundation will be tied to development of a similarly styled implantable HIV prophylactic device.
"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.
Intarcia is planning a third and final equity financing close sometime in Q1 of this year.