After receiving funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ProMed Pharma has begun preclinical evaluation of a novel fully resorbable contraceptive implant.
The Plymouth, Minnesota–based company imagines that the contraceptive implants could ultimately find use in low- and middle-income (LMIC) settings.
The novel implant potentially could offer women 18 months of contraception through the long-term release of levonorgestrel, a hormonal type of birth control first patented in 1960.
The fully biodegradable implant would also obviate the need for women to travel to medical clinics to have the device removed.
In addition, the device is designed to enable physicians to remove the device early, if needed.
A contract manufacturer of polymer-based drug releasing implantable silicone components,
ProMed has selected four lead formulations of the birth-control product candidate combining levonorgestrel with commercially available biopolymers.
“The implant designs have shown promising mechanical integrity and drug release profiles based on in vitro tests to date and have a form factor which is similar if not superior to other implants on the market,” said Dr. James Arps, director of business development at ProMed, in a press release.
ProMed plans on spending at least six months on the preclinical study and could potentially collect drug release and polymer degradation data up to 1.5 years.