Intarcia picks up another $206M, teams with Gates Foundation on anti-HIV therapy

Intarcia submitted its Medici Drug Delivery System to treat Type 2 diabetes for FDA consideration in November. Image: Intarcia Therapeutics

Intarcia has raised $206 million in a second close of its Series EE financing, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pitching in a $50 million investment and up to $90 million in potential milestones, the company announced on Thursday.

The Boston-based company previously closed a $215 million round in September and plans a final close in the first quarter, according to a statement. And in November, Intarcia submitted its diabetes-treating micropump for FDA approval, triggering a $100 million milestone payment.

The matchstick-size Medici drug delivery system includes an osmotic pump that is implanted beneath the skin to deliver Intarcia’s temperature-stable exenatide, ITCA 650. The device is designed to need replacement twice a year, which could help boost patient adherence. The company has a pump that will only need once-yearly replacement in the works.

“With Medici, and each of our new once- or twice-yearly therapies, we’re aiming to solve some of the biggest unmet needs in the treatment and prevention of major chronic diseases that impact millions and millions of lives every day,” said Intarcia CEO Kurt Graves in the statement. “We look forward to working with health and regulatory authorities in preparing to bring our first investigational medicine to patients with Type 2 diabetes next year.”

As part of the financing, Intarcia is teaming up with the Gates Foundation to build a once- or twice-yearly prophylactic therapy for HIV based on its Medici system. The hope is that the system will improve the effectiveness of and adherence to anti-HIV therapies. While the Gates Foundation has pledged up to $90 million in milestone-based grants, if all goes well moving forward, additional grants will be made to propel the development of the HIV prophylactic.

“There’s a vital need for an HIV/AIDS intervention that allows those at risk to incorporate prevention more easily into their daily lives,” said Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann in the statement. "We feel optimistic about our partnership with Intarcia and the prospect of an implantable prophylactic device that could make a world of difference for people most in need."