- Conducted the second annual Microbicide Access Forum (MAF) in partnership with WHO and the Population Council. This conference convened in August, preceding the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, and provided an opportunity for donors, microbicide developers, and NGOs to coordinate efforts to facilitate access to safe and effective microbicides. Presentations examined lessons learned from the introduction of related health products. Participants identified key 'next steps' to strengthen preparation for microbicide access.
- Developed a mathematical model for microbicide introduction strategies, in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: The model estimates the impact of a microbicide on the number of new HIV infections in two contrasting settings in Southern India and South Africa. Introduction scenarios take into account efficacy and use, introduction strategy, uptake, speed of approval, and potential restrictions on product delivery. The model estimates the cost-effectiveness of the scenarios in both settings and assesses whether the scenarios with the highest impact are also the most cost-effective.
- Initiated a product acceptability study for three microbicide formulations in partnership with U.S. and Africa-based researchers. The acceptability study investigates women's preferences for placebo vaginal tablets, gel capsules, and films. The study is planned in four African countries: Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. Study results will inform the research and development efforts regarding microbicide formulations that women and their male partners prefer, and hence should be considered for future microbicide delivery.
- Conducted a 'Review on Access to Medicines in the Developing World: Lessons Learned from the Pharmaceutical Industry.' IPM is partnering with selected pharmaceutical companies to assess the implications for microbicide introduction of experience in scaling up access to antiretrovirals (ARVs), the HPV vaccine and anti-malarials in developing countries. Lessons learned will be analyzed and shared with IPM, and if agreeable, to the pharmaceutical companies, as well as other stakeholders in microbicide development.
- Investigated vaginal practices of African women and their implications for microbicides use, in partnership with the University of Bern. The University of Bern has investigated vaginal practices in diverse settings over the past six years. Through the WHO-sponsored Multi-country Study on Gender, Sexuality and Vaginal Practices (GSVP Study), the university has documented reported behaviors and preferences, created a measurement and classification framework for vaginal practices, and surveyed and reported on the prevalence of specific practices. IPM is partnering with the University of Bern to develop a document that synthesizes the results of the vaginal practices studies and assesses the implications for use of microbicides by African women.
- Plans to establish formal collaboration between partners; agree on roles and responsibilities; and develop research and policy programs.
- IPM has obtained licenses from Pfizer to develop maraviroc and from Merck to develop L'644. Both are HIV entry inhibitors.
- To create a supportive political environment for microbicide development, IPM has participated in international, regional, and national events with donors, decision-makers, and stakeholders, including community leaders and non-governmental organizations.
- In collaboration with international partners such as the World Health Organization and the Population Council, IPM organized a Microbicides Access Forum in August 2008.