The International Partnership for Microbicides, or IPM, will receive up to $25 million over 5 years from the United States Agency for International Development to accelerate the potential rollout of its monthly dapivirine vaginal ring, a novel HIV prevention microbicide product for women, according to a press release.
Designed to offer discreet, long-acting HIV prevention, IPM’s dapivirine vaginal ring is the first microbicide shown to reduce HIV risk among women, according to data from two large clinical trials.
The award will support ongoing research of the dapivirine vaginal ring, including further study of former participants in the ASPIRE trial and The Ring Study. Another study that will begin later this year, known as REACH, will assess the use of the ring among adolescent girls and young women in four African countries. USAID’s support will also help IPM accelerate the development of a 3-month dapivirine-only ring that offers women greater convenience and reduces the product’s annual cost, according to the release.
IPM submitted the product for review to the European Medicines Agency, and plans to submit applications to the South African Medicines Control Council, the FDA and regulatory authorities in African countries where women face the highest risk of infection. With the support of USAID, IPM will work to ensure that its product is available and affordable for women in low-resources settings, the release said. The award follows four previous awards from USAID, bringing IPM’s backing from the organization up to $91 million.
“[This] news is critical to offering women potentially lifesaving new microbicides like the dapivirine ring,” Zeda Rosenberg, ScD, founder and CEO of IPM, said in the release. “We applaud USAID’s leadership in championing HIV prevention innovations that could provide women with the options they need to overcome urgent threats to their health.”
Disclosure: Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of IPM.