HCV micro-elimination program seeks to cure high-risk Kentucky county
Intent Solutions announced a partnership with the University of Kentucky in a $15 million federal grant program aimed at eliminating hepatitis C in an eastern Kentucky county that has particularly high rates of chronic infection, according to a press release.
The Kentucky Viral Hepatitis Treatment Study, known as KeY Treat, is part of the contract between the company and university because the study’s design is intended to manage the dispensation of HCV medications to 900 individuals in the program. Gilead Sciences donated the medications to be used with a value of approximately $20 million.
Additionally, Intent Solutions will use its tad dispensing system to track patient adherence to treatment. The tad system refers to the phrase “take as directed” and is a portable, automated dispending device that can contain up to a 30-day supply of pills.
“[T]ad is uniquely suited to population health intervention programs like this one, and we are proud to be part of it,” Sam Zamarripa, CEO of Intent Solutions, said in the release. “While our tad system was originally developed to reduce the misuse, abuse and diversion of opioids, we have also seen its potential in other areas, such as clinical trials. In hepatitis C treatment, it is mission-critical that medications be taken properly to rid the body of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), and tad is an ideal tool for making that happen, as the leaders of Kentucky's intervention program in this Appalachian county clearly see.”
Zamarripa noted that the program — funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse — is a part of recent focus on micro-elimination in high-risk populations, such as drug users, to move toward the WHO goal of eliminating HCV by the year 2030.
“Some of those involved in the work of eliminating HCV believe that micro-elimination is the best way to accomplish the goal, ie, to treat people in smaller, more targeted groups like the people in Perry County," Zamarripa said. “That’s one of the reasons being involved in the program is so exciting for us. Our hope is that tad will be used in other programs geared to specific population segments stricken with infections treatable with prescription drugs.”