Janssen R&D Ireland Ltd. (Janssen) today announced that it has expanded its collaboration with the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) for the development and delivery of dapivirine (TMC120) for the prevention of HIV. This is the latest innovative public-private partnership from the newly established Janssen Global Public Health group and a significant contribution to the wider efforts of Johnson & Johnson to improve public health worldwide.
In 2004, Janssen and IPM formed one of the very first public-private collaborations in the microbicide field to develop, manufacture and commercialize dapivirine in resource-poor countries. Under this expanded agreement, IPM, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing new HIV prevention technologies for women, now has exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize dapivirine for the prevention of sexual transmission of HIV alone or in combination with either microbicidal antiretroviral medicines and/or in combination with contraceptives.
IPM will be able to maximize the scope of its work on products designed to prevent both HIV infection and unintended pregnancy, critical technologies to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women globally.
Under the agreement, IPM would institute a program to ensure that women in lower income communities have access to any product that IPM may commercialize in developed countries through affordable pricing strategies. This builds on the importance of access within the previous agreement which focused on ensuring affordability of dapivirine-based products for women in resource-poor countries, now firmly a cornerstone of the new agreement. Resources generated in developed markets also will help support additional R&D and access efforts in the developing world.
"Janssen is committed to finding new solutions from development through to access to prevent the spread of HIV and reduce the burden of HIV on women and their families," said Wim Parys, M.D., Head of R&D, Janssen Global Public Health. "We hope that now even more at-risk women around the world may benefit from this important collaboration by having affordable access to new prevention technologies in the future."
Microbicides are an innovative prevention tool being investigated in various forms, such as sustained-release vaginal rings, to help prevent the sexual transmission of HIV. IPM's monthly vaginal microbicidal ring with dapivirine – potentially the first product of its kind – is now being studied in two parallel efficacy trials in multiple African countries with results expected in late 2015. IPM is also developing a 90-day ring that combines dapivirine with a contraceptive, which is set to enter clinical testing in 2015.
"This expanded collaboration is based on our shared vision of a world with zero HIV transmission," said Adrian Thomas, M.D., Vice President of Global Market Access, Global Commercial Strategy Operations, and Global Public Health. "Our goal is to contribute significantly towards the development and delivery of an effective product that directly addresses a huge unmet public health need, and could help in the fight against one of our time's most devastating diseases."
Johnson & Johnson is committed to advancing global health. Its family of companies has launched and continues to support a variety of comprehensive efforts toward strengthening the health of communities, improving maternal and child health, and preventing the spread of infectious and preventable diseases worldwide. For more information on Johnson & Johnson global health programs, visit www.jnj.com.