The field of MPTs that combine hormonal contraception (HC) and antiretroviral drugs for HIV prevention has made substantial progress in the past several years. There are two such MPTs in phase I clinical trials: 1) IPM’s dapivirine and levonorgestrel intravaginal ring and 2) CONRAD’s tenofovir and levonorgestrel intravaginal ring – with several other HC + ARV MPT products on the cusp in various stages of preclinical development.
Not unlike any innovative product development process, as these products continue to break new ground and advance in the pipeline, developers and their partners will face a number of unique technical and market challenges. Since 2014, the IMPT has convened MPT developers, other researchers in hormonal contraception and HIV prevention, funders, and other MPT stakeholders to work together to identify these key challenges and outline concrete next steps. This collaborative effort is particularly important given the limited financial resources available to the field and the complexities of combining two drugs into a single product. After dozens of informal teleconference conversations and three formal in-person convenings, the IMPT and its partners developed a strategic action framework for MPTs combining HC and antiretroviral drugs. The framework outlines eight discrete action areas:
In an article published this week in the European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, the IMPT presents this strategic action framework, including progress to date and concrete next steps for each action area. The piece both exemplifies the impact of the IMPT’s collaborative learning network model and serves as a useful tool for stakeholders in the field to advance the science around MPTs. Together, we can make MPTs a reality for women worldwide.