A biotech company that received some of its first major funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it has inked a deal to bring its implantable microchips to the commercial market.
MIT has announced that its spinout, Microchips Biotech, has partnered with Teva Pharmaceutical in a $35 million deal to bring the implantable microchips to market. The microchips hold “hundreds of pinhead-sized reservoirs” that store treatments, which are then released by an electrical current. The company says that the microchips can potentially be used for diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis and can hold up to 16 years of treatments.
Some may recognize the Microchips Biotech name. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was one of the company’s earliest funders, giving it grants in 2012 to develop its “flagship product” — a birth-control microchip. The Gates Foundation project, which is ongoing, will help women in developing nations who have limited access to birth control.
There is no official word when the birth-control microchips will be ready, but the Washington Post reported last summer that it might be as soon as 2018.
Implantables and wearables are certainly the next frontier, seamlessly linking health care to doctors and making treatments automatic. Just last week, Google announced that it is creating a wearable that tracks health data and sends it to doctors.