ImQuest Biosciences, based in Frederick, Maryland, is developing a skin patch to deliver antiretroviral medications, according to a presentation at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition being held October 23 through 27 in Washington, DC. Though the patch is in very early stages of development—it has not yet been studied in animals, let alone humans—it holds great promise for people living with HIV, the researchers suggest.
According to lead presenter Anthony Ham, PhD, of ImQuest, a single transdermal patch can be used to deliver seven days of medication into the bloodstream.
“As we enter the fourth decade of HIV/AIDS, this new delivery method will hopefully reduce the numerous pills most HIV patients have to take daily,” said Ham in an AAPS press announcement. “Taking medicines regularly reduces symptoms in HIV patients and extends lives. The transdermal patch offers an easier option for patients to comply with their medication regimes as compared to current treatments.”
This non-invasive patch also shows a potential economic advantage in terms of shipping costs as compared to pills or needles. With an estimated 15 million people living with HIV in developing countries and only 5.3 million people with access to treatment, Ham and his colleagues suggest the patch offers a more affordable and accessible way to address this unmet medical need