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International Partnership for Microbicides Receives US $130 Million from UK Government and the Gates Foundation
Date:2/24/2009

New support will accelerate development of new tools to help women protect themselves from HIV

SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) announced today that it has received a total of US $130 million in grants from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reinforcing the global commitment to address the HIV epidemic in women.

Globally, 7,000 new cases of HIV infection and almost 6,000 AIDS-related deaths occur each day. Due to a mix of biology, culture, and socio-economic factors, women and young girls increasingly bear the burden of the HIV epidemic. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women are more than three times as likely to be infected as young men.

The two grants will support efforts to develop microbicides that give women the power to prevent HIV infection. DFID pledged 20 million pounds Sterling ($28.5 million, Euro 22.6 million) and the Gates Foundation committed $100 million (Euro 79.5 million, 70.3 million pounds) to IPM.

The announcement follows the encouraging results last month of a US National Institutes of Health Microbicide Trials Network clinical trial of the microbicide candidate PRO2000, which showed that the product was 30 percent more effective than any other arm of the study in preventing HIV. While the data from this study are not definitive and results from additional trials are needed to confirm these findings, this important milestone supports the concept that a microbicide could prevent HIV infection.

"We applaud the UK government and the Gates Foundation for their continued commitment to women's health and HIV prevention research," said Dr. Zeda Rosenberg, Chief Executive Officer of IPM. "Safe and effective microbicides have the potential to save millions of lives by giving women an HIV prevention option that they can initiate a
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SOURCE The International Partnership for Microbicides
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