Analysis Calls for More U.S. Investment in MPTs
The following post originally appeared as part of a research roundup on the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) blog, Breakthroughs. It is reprinted here with permission.
A new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review calls for increased U.S. investment in multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs)—products that protect against multiple risks, including unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There is currently only one MPT in phase 3 clinical trials—a female condom that prevents pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and four STIs—as well as nine in phase 1 trials, and 13 in preclinical development. Among these MPTs are female condoms and vaginal rings, gels, films, nanofibers, and tablets.
As MPTs are primarily intended for use in low-resource settings, private-sector interest has remained low. Additional, non-financial barriers to MPT R&D include scientific and regulatory hurdles: most MPTs have two or more active ingredients, and could thus be subject to review by as many as three divisions within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The report notes that the U.S. government is already the biggest funder of MPT R&D, accounting for 89 percent of the $6.5 million invested in MPTs in 2013.