Local Company Receives $1.2 Million Grant to Develop Self-Monitoring Pill

11, July 2013

Jonesville-based eTect has received a $1.2 million grant to develop a pill with a sand-grain sized sensor sends a signal to a monitor worn by the patient.

The sensor, expected to be available to pharmaceuticals by 2014, was funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. eTect's president Eric Buffkin said the NIDA is interested in the technologies ability to track patients' adherence to drug addiction treatments. The pills can be used to monitor any dosage of medication.

Below is an exerpt from tthe article in The Gainesville Sun:

The company uses tiny sensors developed by Convergent Engineering and the University of Florida College of Engineering. The sensors include microchips the size of a grain of sand that are incorporated into capsules.

A tiny circuit uses stomach fluids to harmlessly generate a very small amount of energy to power up the sensor, sending a simple digital message to a monitor, according to a news release.

The capsule dissolves and the sensor components pass through the patient's digestive system.

Since its founding in 2009, eTect has received about $3.6 million in private funding and $300,000 in grants. The company has 11 employees and contract workers.

Buffkin said eTect has conducted clinical studies with "very good" results and plans to have the first commercial product available to pharmaceutical companies in 2014.

Read the full article.