NEWTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Inflammasome Therapeutics, a private, science-based company developing therapies for prevalent, degenerative diseases and sustained-release drug delivery systems, announced it has been awarded a second grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The new $1.3 million grant will be used to develop a 12-month bioerodible implant for women to provide prevention from HIV infection coupled with birth control. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released in March 2021, women represent more than half (55%) of all adults (15-49) living with HIV worldwide, and HIV (along with complications related to pregnancy) is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age.
The implant is expected to deliver a constant and consistent level of islatravir for HIV prevention and concurrently a consistent low plasma level of the hormone levonorgestrel. Once the drugs have been released in the body the implant will dissolve without a need for it to be removed. Inflammasome received a $1.0 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in September 2020 for development of an 18-month sustained release bioerodible implant for birth control.
Dr. Paul Ashton, CEO of Inflammasome Therapeutics said, “We are delighted to be working on this important program to help reduce unwanted pregnancies while at the same time combating the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.” According to the Kaiser report, HIV infections are rampant in Africa, with an estimated 25.6 million people living with HIV in Eastern, Southern, Western and Central Africa. Women and girls account for 58% of the estimated 240,000 new HIV infections in Western and Central Africa.
The Inflammasome Therapeutics team continues to improve upon its sustained release technology that enables a drug (or drugs) to be released in a consistent dosage for a pre-determined time. Once released in the body, the implant dissolves without the need to remove it, which is particularly beneficial in areas of the world where it may be difficult to maintain follow-up with recipients.
Dr. Ashton noted that the company’s technology continues to evolve and can be applied to almost any small molecule requiring consistent dosing over an extended period. “There is also the potential to use our technology to develop an implant specifically to prevent HIV infection,” Dr. Ashton said. According to a Global Data February 2021 report, the HIV prophylaxis market was $2.6 billion in 2019 consisting mainly of daily oral medications.
Inflammasome Therapeutics is committed to providing global access to the implant and will retain all intellectual property and marketing rights.
Inflammasome Therapeutics (www.inflam.com) was founded by Jayakrishna Ambati, M.D. and Paul Ashton, Ph.D., in 2016 to develop therapies for prevalent, degenerative diseases and to develop novel delivery technologies for sustained release of therapeutic agents and compounds. The company combines scientific excellence with proven development expertise and works to develop products via a mixture of licensing agreements and internal development. Inflammasome has identified and licensed a series of molecules – Kamuvudines – that successfully inhibit inflammasome activation in cell culture and animal models. Clinical trials are expected to begin later in 2021. In addition to the two grants the company has received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Inflammasome also has a development agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim.