Evofem Biosciences’ lead product candidate, Amphora® is an MPT – more specifically, a Multipurpose Vaginal pH Regulator (MVP-RTM) – that is being developed for the prevention of pregnancy and certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including chlamydia and gonorrhea.
We at Yaso Therapeutics are developing a vaginal gel, called Yaso-GEL, that uses a single proprietary drug to prevent pregnancy as well as genital herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. The gel is mucoadhesive, non-irritating, relatively low-cost, and stable. Yaso-GEL aims to be an MPT that can fill the need for non-hormonal contraceptives and protect women from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Monoclonal antibodies are engineered proteins derived from a single parent cell and have been used in a diverse range of therapeutic applications due to their versatility and specificity. At Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc., we believe monoclonal antibodies are promising candidates for multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) when formulated as topical (e.g., films and rings) or injectable products. Systemic antibodies may have multiple effector functions – like complement binding (CDC) and binding to monocytes (ADCC) – while mucosal mechanisms agglutination and trapping in mucus are less widely discussed, but are crucial for the protection of mucosal surfaces. Systemically and mucosally delivered antibodies have demonstrated efficacy in SHIV prevention studies. In this post, we describe some of the important progress to date on monoclonal antibodies as future MPTs.
It all started with the simple realization that women seeking protection against HIV also want to prevent unintended pregnancies. In general, they also prefer a combined method. Then followed the innovation challenge: Engineer a long-acting intravaginal ring that could release two chemically diverse drugs – one for HIV and herpes simplex virus (HSV) prevention, and one for contraception – at sustained, controlled, and yet extremely different release rates (up to 1000-fold) for 3 months; make it suitable and scalable for use in resource-limited countries, such as those of sub-Saharan Africa; and design it so women would want to use it. Even now it’s a daunting task. When this project began, 10 years ago, its feasibility was questioned by many, including our collaborators and ourselves. However, if successful, this challenge had strong potential to provide a truly game-changing MPT solution to a dire unmet need for women globally.
This project is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of Cooperative Agreement #AID-OAA-A-16-00045. The contents are the responsibility of the IMPT, CAMI Health, PHI, and its partners and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the U.S. Government.