Meredith Clark, PhD is the Director of Preclinical Activities at CONRAD and Associate Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. She has over 10 years of experience in the research and development of MPTs and other drug delivery and biomedical innovations for improving sexual and reproductive health for women globally.
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.