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New ways to combat an old plague
New ways to combat an old plague
Inderm founders Ali Ansary (left) and Dr. Sahil Kirpekar
Company: Inderm
Team members: Sahil Kirpekar, Ali Ansary, Amal Ismail, Arash Moavenian, Steve Xu and Jason Kang; University of Cambridge

Concept: The White Plague is back with a vengeance. Current tuberculosis drug treatments require daily dosages for six months, and patient compliance is a problem in developing countries.

Enter Inderm. The company's scientists have developed the concept for a subdermal implant that can deliver TB treatments at a controlled rate. The "InTB" implant will be biodegradable.

In development talks, team members held the product to the standard of "Would we use it on ourselves?"

"If I knew I had to walk three hours one way to get treatment and three hours back every day, absolutely I would," says co-founder Ali Ansary, who references the movie Outbreak when talking about the devastating effects of airborne diseases.

Inderm will target parts of Africa and Asia, and hopes to offer its product at prices competitive with existing treatments.

Inderm finished in the semi-finals and finals of business plan competitions at Berkeley and Cambridge Universities. The team is consulting with healthcare economics and social venture experts to prepare for the Rice competition.

Timeline: No prototype is available yet for testing. Inderm has just begun a campaign to raise $305,000 to set up a small laboratory, hire additional scientists, and fund R&D. The company plans to file for a technology patent this year.

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LAST UPDATE: Apr 21 2009 | 4:31 PM ET
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