Swallowing Stars: MIT spin-out invents gastric device which solves problem of daily dosing

By Dani Bancroft contact

- Last updated on GMT

Co-founder of Lyndra Giovanni Traverso holds the gastric residence prototype (Credit: Melanie Gonick/MIT)
Co-founder of Lyndra Giovanni Traverso holds the gastric residence prototype (Credit: Melanie Gonick/MIT)

Related tags: Medicine

Lyndra Inc. has developed a star shaped gastric device which claims to solve the problem of delivering drugs with short half-lives.

The MIT the spin-out designed the device to sit in the stomach to gradually drugs which normally have to be administered daily.

To stop the ‘dumping’ of formulation into the stomach all at once, the firm developed pH-dependent copolymer excipients to work with the device, sourced from chemical manufacturer Evonik Industries AG.

An animal study using the device with Ivermectin – an anti-malarial small molecule which has to be administered daily due its short half-life – was published in Science Translational Medicine​. Authors of study explained:

“Cost, sterility requirements, procedural complications, and patient preference suggest that oral therapies will be preferable.”

Wider applications

The developed hope the device could be used to carry other drugs for gradual release in chronic diseases. Co-founder and co-author of the paper – Robert Langer commented:

“This really opens the door to ultra-long-lasting oral systems, which could have an effect on all kinds of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or mental health disorders.”

Financial backers included the Gates Foundation, US NIH and from a Max Planck Research Award. In a statement​, Lyndra co-founder and CEO Amy Schulman added:

“Lyndra is also partnering with a select number of leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies to develop ultra-long acting oral products of their proprietary small molecule therapies.”

Ph I clinical trials are planned for mid-2017.

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