IPM Receives £15 Million from UK Government to Advance Innovative Health Products for Women
Funding will accelerate development of HIV prevention tools and other sexual and reproductive health technologies
SILVER SPRING, Md. (August 22, 2013) — The International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) announced today that it has received a £15 million (US$22.8 million) award over five years from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to advance new HIV prevention and multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) for women. The announcement builds on recent scientific developments in the HIV prevention field and global momentum around family planning.
HIV/AIDS and maternal mortality, and their frequent intersection, are among the greatest obstacles to women’s health and development. Together, they constitute the two leading causes of death among women of reproductive age and underscore the urgent need for new tools women can use to safeguard their own health.
“DFID has long been a leader in supporting global health innovation. We thank the UK government for its renewed commitment to IPM and applaud its unyielding dedication to improving women’s health,” said Dr. Zeda Rosenberg, Chief Executive Officer of IPM. “With this new grant, IPM can progress its product pipeline to meet women’s most pressing health needs.”
DFID’s investment will support IPM’s development of new female-initiated tools, including a monthly vaginal ring designed to prevent HIV — the first product of its kind. The ring, currently being studied in two late-stage clinical trials in Africa, slowly delivers an antiretroviral (ARV) drug called dapivirine that could potentially provide discreet and long-acting protection against the virus. Pending trial results in 2016, DFID’s support will also help ensure the dapivirine ring is rapidly available to women who need it most.
In addition, the grant from DFID will expedite development of IPM’s 60-day MPT ring which combines the ARV dapivirine along with the contraceptive hormone levonorgestrel to simultaneously protect against HIV as well as unintended pregnancy. IPM is developing the MPT ring under a grant from the US Agency for International Development and, with the new DFID award, plans to begin a Phase I trial in 2015.
“The development of new technologies is vital,” said International Development Secretary Justine Greening. “Working together in product development partnerships, the public and private sectors have a chance to bring together their expertise for the benefit of millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”
IPM acquired a royalty-free license to develop dapivirine as a microbicide in 2004 through a landmark public-private collaboration with Janssen R&D Ireland and holds five other licensing agreements with major pharmaceutical partners. DFID’s award will help IPM continue partnering across sectors to spur development of additional life-saving technologies for women, including single and combination products containing potent ARVs that target HIV at different stages of the virus life-cycle and could potentially be combined with a contraceptive.
DFID is one of IPM’s founding donors, and this is DFID’s fourth grant to the organization, bringing the institution’s total investment in IPM to £43,700,000. Additional IPM supporters include Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States, the MAC AIDS Fund, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
About IPM: IPM is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing new HIV prevention tools and other sexual and reproductive health technologies for women, and making them available in developing countries. IPM has offices in the United States and South Africa. Please visit www.IPMglobal.org.
IPM US and Europe: Holly Seltzer, hseltzer@IPMglobal.org, +1.301.608.4277
IPM Africa: Leonard Solai, lsolai@IPMglobal.org, +27.21.860.2314
About DFID: The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. We're ending the need for aid by creating jobs, unlocking the potential of girls and women and helping to save lives when humanitarian emergencies hit. Find out more at www.gov.uk/dfid.