Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: The International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) has signed an agreement with pharmaceutical company Pfizer under which the pharma major will give IPM a royalty-free license to use maraviroc, its newly approved HIV treatment, as a microbicide for the prevention of HIV infection.

Maraviroc is one of a new class of antiretroviral drugs which works to prevent HIV infection by preventing the virus from gaining entry into target cells.

“The drug’s safety and efficacy data as a therapeutic will speed its development as a microbicide. This agreement adds a promising new compound to IPM’s pipeline allowing us to explore new ways to prevent infection,” Zeda Rosenberg, CEO of the IPM told The Hindu here.

Microbicides are products, such as gels, films and rings that could be applied vaginally to prevent transmission of HIV during vaginal intercourse. IPM would work to develop maraviroc as a vaginal microbicide with the right to manufacture and distribute the microbicide in developing countries that would reduce the cost of the end product and make it accessible to women in the developing countries.