The IMPT offices are always a buzz with activity during the months of November and December. Giving Tuesday, World AIDS Day, as well as general end-of-the year wrap ups—it is a reminder that for organizations like ours, this time of year is a time for increased activism, awareness, and reflection. This year, as the IMPT celebrates a decade of progress in the MPT field, we recognize both forward progress and future goals as we continually work to bring MPTs closer to a reality that will improve the lives of women and girls worldwide.
In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women are at the highest risk of acquiring HIV. However, as this is a heterogeneous population, the characteristics of these women can vary greatly. A one-size-fits-all approach simply will not work. In order for MPTs to have the greatest impact, approaches must be tailored to the populations where they are most likely to be successful.
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.
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.