An implant to fight infection

Pável's ambition

Immunologic therapy using antibodies is the mainstay treatment for several types of primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) – a group of heterogeneous diseases that compromises the ability to fight off infections. Patients with this kind of disease need to receive subcutaneous injections of antibodies once a month; these injections are often multiple and applied simultaneously on their backs.

Most patients are children, and many of them need treatment for their entire lifetime. In Mexico, this treatment is only available in third level healthcare facilities based in major cities. This presents a significant challenge for treatment compliance and life quality, especially for those patients who need to travel long distances. Parents that need to travel from rural areas to a major city for their children to get medical treatment often find it challenging to cover travel expenses, but these patients can’t risk suffering a severe and life-threatening infection.

Children with PIDs would benefit from an alternative treatment that could decrease the number of sessions needed to administer antibody therapy, for example, an implant that already contained the sufficient amount of antibodies for a couple of months or an entire year. That is why I'm trying to develop such an implant.

I have already concluded an in vitro assay using copolymers to study the encapsulation efficiency and release of antibodies. My next step will be to evaluate if the structure and functionality of the antibodies are preserved during their encapsulation.

My goal is that in the near future this implant will be available for use in immunologic therapy using antibodies.