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IPM Reaches Landmark Agreement with Pfizer to Develop FDA-Approved Antiretroviral Drug as Vaginal Microbicide
Date:1/30/2008

SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Expanding the pipeline of HIV prevention tools in development, the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) today announced that Pfizer Inc. (Pfizer) has agreed to give IPM a royalty-free license to maraviroc, its newly-approved HIV treatment, as a microbicide for the prevention of HIV infection. Maraviroc, sold under the trade name Selzentry(TM)/Celsentri(R), is one of a new class of antiretroviral drugs known as CCR5 blockers, which works to prevent HIV infection by preventing the virus from gaining entry into target cells.

This agreement marks only the second time a pharmaceutical company has licensed an already approved HIV therapy to be developed as a microbicide. Researchers hope that maraviroc'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 HIV infection," said Dr. Zeda Rosenberg, CEO of the International Partnership for Microbicides. "Pfizer and IPM's other industry partners deserve recognition for their significant leadership in the global effort to protect women from HIV."

Microbicides are products, such as gels and films, that could be applied vaginally to prevent transmission of HIV during vaginal intercourse. IPM is also developing other delivery methods such as long-lasting vaginal rings that release drug gradually over time.

"Pfizer is proud to contribute to the effort to develop a safe and effective microbicide with the potential to give women around the world new ways to protect themselves from HIV," said Pfizer Vice President Dr. Jack Watters. "Given maraviroc's mechanism of action blocking entry of HIV into the CD4 cells, the possibility for use in a microbicide is exciting. In addition to developing new drugs to treat AIDS, we are committed to searching for ways our drugs can be used to slow down
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SOURCE International Partnership for Microbicides
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