Proteus' digital pill tracker shows success in TB drug adherence

pills
Proteus Digital Health previously received FDA approval for use of its ingestible pill sensor in schizophrenia in collaboration with Otsuka Pharmaceutical and has also incorporated the sensor into chemotherapy pills. (Pixabay)

A study of Proteus Digital Health’s ingestible pill sensor found it performed better than directly monitoring drug adherence among patients with tuberculosis taking monthslong maintenance therapies.

Adherence to TB treatments is essential, not only to cure the disease but also to prevent the development of drug-resistant strains. Typical antibiotic regimens include an intensive treatment phase of about two months followed by a continuation phase spanning four to seven months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The former Fierce 15 winner’s digital pill consists of a biodegradable sensor about the size of a grain of sand that generates an electrical signal as it dissolves in the stomach. This signal is picked up by a skin patch that relays the data to a mobile phone. 

Virtual Roundtable

ASCO Explained: Expert predictions and takeaways from the world's biggest cancer meeting

Join FiercePharma for our ASCO pre- and post-show webinar series. We'll bring together a panel of experts to preview what to watch for at ASCO. Cancer experts will highlight closely watched data sets to be unveiled at the virtual meeting--and discuss how they could change prescribing patterns. Following the meeting, we’ll do a post-show wrap up to break down the biggest data that came out over the weekend, as well as the implications they could have for prescribers, patients and drugmakers.

Proteus previously received approval for its use in schizophrenia in collaboration with Otsuka Pharmaceutical and has also incorporated the sensor into chemotherapy pills. The company’s system also allows for extra physician support for those that miss doses.

RELATED: Otsuka and Proteus sign 5-year, $88M digital pill partnership

The study, published in PLOS One, followed TB patients in clinics in southern California and at home to confirm adherence to a daily series of therapies over the continuation phase. Among those being followed by Proteus’ digital tracking, if a regular ingestion was not detected, the person was contacted within 24 hours by text or by phone to provide reminders. 

RELATED: Proteus launches its first digital cancer chemotherapy pill

Proteus’ sensor was 99.3% accurate in correctly detecting ingestions and demonstrated daily adherence rates of 93% when randomized against having a clinician directly observe the swallowing of the pill, which had a 63% rate. This was mainly due to the sensor’s ability to work seven days a week, compared to the days when a clinic may be closed or understaffed.

Additionally, 100% of participants reported that they preferred the wireless observation method, according to the researchers, who said the system should be tested in high-burden TB settings where it may support adherence among programs in low- and middle-income countries.

Suggested Articles

The FDA named more than two dozen coronavirus antibody tests that should be taken off the market weeks after the agency clamped down on tests.

Inovio CEO J. Joseph Kim is undeterred by short sellers and other detractors who doubt his company can shuttle a COVID-19 DNA vaccine to market.

The machine-learning programs scroll through data to detect hard-to-spot patterns. Yet few have been tested against standard procedures.