December 08, 2016
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$150 million contract supports development of HIV-prevention products

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The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Division of AIDS will award researchers at SRI International up to $150 million to support the development of HIV microbicides and other nonvaccine pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, agents, according to a press release.

Identifying effective HIV prevention strategies that reduce the number of new infections — which is estimated to be 5,000 new infections worldwide each day — remains a top priority for the NIAID and Division of AIDS (DAIDS), the release said. However, advancing new prevention products through the development process is a challenge.

Under a 7-year contract issued by DAIDS, SRI Biosciences, a division of SRI International, will provide preclinical product development services for microbicides and other PrEP agents that emerge from investigator-initiated studies and collaborations with other companies and organizations. SRI will support activities required by the FDA to advance these products through clinical studies.

“Since the early 2000s, researchers at SRI International have been involved in drug development activities to help move many microbicides, PrEP agents, and multipurpose prevention technologies through IND-enabling studies,” Gita Shankar, PhD, director of Formulations R&D at the Center for Pharmaceutical and Chemical Technologies, SRI Biosciences, said in the release. “We are very pleased to be given an opportunity to contribute to the acceleration of promising HIV products into clinical testing and the creation of a sustainable pipeline of prevention products and strategies.”

Disclosure: Shankar is an employee of SRI International.