Saturday, February 25, 2012

News Brief: Microchip Implanted to Deliver Drug Shows Promise in Trial

Marie J. Murphy

Microchips Inc., under the license of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has developed a microchip-based drug delivery device, which upon its implantation into the body secretes an exact dosage of the injectable drug Foreto, a medication that treats osteoporosis. This new technology has the potential to improve outcomes because it is assures regular intake of the drug, which contributes to higher compliance. Currently, injection of the drug is very complicated and it must be done daily. According to Dr. Ethel Siris, a professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, this form of drug therapy could be useful because it could ease the way that this drug is administered in a way that still guarantees its effectiveness. Additionally, it is estimated cost of the delivery via chip would be approximately $10,000 - $12,000 per year, which is currently the cost of Forteo delivered by injection.

The chip itself contains 10 cube-shaped reservoirs, 40 one-thousandths of an inch wide, each containing 600 nanoliters of a highly concentrated dose of Forteo. It secretes according to a schedule that also sends a wireless message as a confirmation of the delivery. The entire piece is about two and a quarter inches long and one and a half inches wide in size. Implantation of the device is an outpatient procedure that requires only one incision and a nylon suture on the lower stomach. It has a world of potential and is opening doors for a world of possibilities for drug treatment.

Reference: Bakalar, Nicholas. "Microchip Implanted to Deliver Drug Shows Promise in Trial". The New York Tims. Web. Feb 17 2012.

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