Evestra, Inc. announced today that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given a grant to Evestra to advance the preclinical and clinical development of a novel long-acting injectable contraceptive product for women in underserved regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa.
The $15.9 million, three-and-a-half-year grant follows the successful outcome of a five-year research and development collaboration between Evestra and the foundation to develop novel long-acting injectable methods of contraception.
The product concept is based on Evestra’s proprietary prodrug platform technology, supported by a strong proprietary position. A prodrug is a compound that is inactive until it is inside the human body, where metabolic processes convert it into an active drug.
“We are delighted that Evestra’s successful research and development effort has been recognized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led to the current major grant. The funds will be used to conduct the necessary drug development activities required for filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) with the Food and Drug Administration and establish proof-of-concept in human clinical trials,” said Ze’ev Shaked, Ph.D., Evestra’s CEO.
He added, “a successful completion of this initial clinical development phase will advance the prospects to commercialize this important product needed for women in developing countries around the world.” Evestra also intends to evaluate the development of the product for commercial sale in the US and elsewhere in the developed world.