Dear friends and colleagues,
Last year, we shared the inspiring news that IPM’s monthly dapivirine ring helps to safely reduce a woman’s risk of HIV infection. We were encouraged by the enthusiasm of many women who participated in The Ring Study when they heard the primary results, which was so nicely summed up by one participant: “I wish that the ring can be approved and be available to all women who are sexually active and want to use it to protect themselves against HIV.”
As we learned more about the ring’s potential from additional analyses, we heard similar expressions of enthusiasm from women and partners around the world. Bolstered by this global commitment to addressing women’s urgent HIV prevention needs with innovative technologies, we are optimistic that the ring results mark an important milestone on the road to offering women an effective long-acting prevention method.
The dapivirine ring can serve as an example of what the product development partnership (PDP) model can achieve. Yet our work is far from done. For IPM, the “D” in PDP stands for development and delivery. IPM is providing the ring to former Phase III trial participants as well as young women using the ring for the first time through open-label studies that may help us better understand adherence challenges and ways to address them. IPM is submitting the first applications this year and in 2018 for the ring’s regulatory approval — a critical next step toward expanding women’s options.
As IPM works to make an affordable dapivirine ring available to women, we remain just as focused on developing a pipeline of next-generation products to stay ahead of the virus, including a three-month dapivirine ring, a three-month ring that combines dapivirine with a contraceptive, and three-month rings that combine multiple ARVs.
There is a saying that sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. Indeed, our work is only possible with continued — and even more focused — collaboration on a variety of fronts across countries and sectors, from supporting uptake and use of effective prevention methods to integrating new options into health systems and financing their affordable access. We are enormously grateful to our donors and partners, who, like us, believe that women deserve HIV prevention options that meet their needs, including oral PrEP and rings as well as next-generation methods being developed. In 2016, our hope was renewed that such a future is indeed possible.
Dr. Zeda F. Rosenberg
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. James McIntyre
Chair of the Board