MedinCell receives a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a product aimed at preventing HIV infection. This is the second program for the French company supported by the foundation, alongside the development of a 6-month long-acting injectable and bioresorbable contraceptive.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) strategy has proven efficacy in preventing HIV infection via daily oral administration of antiretroviral drugs. However, lack of adherence to an oral PrEP regime undermines its effectiveness.
A combination of an investigational PrEP single-agent with MedinCell’s long-acting injectable technology could guarantee several months of prevention after a single subcutaneous injection.
The support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to confirm the feasibility of the product and to initiate the design of a lead formulation that could rapidly enter investigational development.
“This new product could be a real game-changer for HIV prevention”, stated Christophe Douat, CEO of MedinCell. “It could act as a highly effective HIV-prevention shield for many months. It could offer huge benefits compared with an oral PrEP that requires adherence to be really effective. Subcutaneous injection and complete bio resorption of the depot, which acts like a mini pump to deliver a potent antiretroviral for several months, could provide best-in-class treatment, without the drawbacks of non-resorbable implants.”
“We are really excited to be working on this second program with the Gates Foundation given their global expertise in HIV”, added Christophe Douat. “They are the best partner to design a best-in-class product with both high potential in developed countries and the guarantee of large access to an efficient preventive treatment in others. It could be another demonstration of our vision of being a humanist pharma.”