WATERTOWN - Anyone who has had to take medication once a day or several times a day knows how hard it is to remember to stay on track. But Lyndra Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company in Watertown, has created technology that would allow patients to take medications only once a week or even once a month.
A patient swallows a single capsule, about the size of a multivitamin. When it reaches the acidic environment of the stomach, the outer coating dissolves and reveals hidden arms that slowly release a particular drug over time. Once done, the components would pass harmlessly into the intestine and out of the body.
"People have been trying to lecture patients and educate patients and remind patients and give them apps so they can remember to take their pills," says Trish Hurter, Ph.D., CEO of Lyndra Therapeutics. "But it's very really hard to change human nature or human behavior, so we're taking a very different approach and saying let's change the pill and make it easier for patients, instead of trying to get patients to change their behavior."
So far, the company has tested the technology on about 300 study participants with successful results, initially, in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder who often face challenges with medication compliance. But the technology could eventually be used for any oral therapy such as heart medications, diabetes drugs, antibiotics and oral contraceptives.
They hope to make these long-lasting pills available to patients within a few years.
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