MIT scientists tout first human data on drug-delivery chips

After overcoming bumps in the road and millions of dollars in development costs, venture-backed startup MicroCHIPS has evidence that its wirelessly controlled implant can release drugs into humans. And the company's MIT founders believe the technology could overcome major hurdles to getting drugs into patients properly.

The Waltham, MA-based company reported its implant delivered a generic version of Eli Lilly's ($LLY) Forteo in 7 women with osteoporosis without any adverse immune reactions for a month. The implant was inserted into the women in a half-hour procedure, and the company believes the data show promise that the implant could last for up to 12 months. It's a major step forward for the company and its technology, which helps patients avoid repeated needle injections of drugs and doesn't require them to remember to take their meds.

“This is for drug therapies that can't be delivered orally, so we're replacing multiple daily injections with a single device under the skin,” MIT's Michael Cima, a co-founder of MicroCHIPS, told Bloomberg.

The startup, which Xconomy reports has raised $33 million through three rounds of venture capital, faces more tests before its drug-delivery implant reaches the market. And, as The In Vivo Blog points out, there were some technical glitches in the osteoporosis trial that will need to be worked out before the delivery system is ready for prime time.

- here's the release
- check out Bloomberg's article
- see The In Vivo Blog item
- and Xconomy's report