SAN DIEGO, Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Evofem Holdings, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of women's health products, and DKT, one of the largest private providers of family planning and reproductive health products and services in the developing world, today announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop a coated condom prototype with lubricating, contraceptive and anti-infective properties.
Condoms, when used properly, are an effective and affordable method of contraception. Condoms can also reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis1. Condoms coated with spermicides were marketed as further reducing the risk of pregnancy and reducing the risk of STI contraction, but began to be phased out when a 2001 study suggested that certain surfactant-based spermicides could actually cause genital irritation and increase the risk of HIV transmission2. Most condoms are now coated with silicone, which has lubricating properties, but no contraceptive or anti-STI properties.
"We believe there is a gap in the market now for a condom that can provide additional protection beyond the barrier of the condom itself. If successful, this product could offer more choices for protection from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, it could be an important new product in the condom marketplace," said Christopher Purdy, President and CEO of DKT.
Evofem is studying its proprietary vaginal gel for potential use as a condom coating. Under the terms of the MOU, Evofem will direct and fund the development by DKT International of a coated condom from prototype through to marketing approval. Any potential coated condom product would have to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prior to marketing or sale. Upon completion of the development process, each will have certain commercialization rights. Further details of the MOU were not disclosed.
"Working with both DKT and one of the largest global condom manufacturers Karex on this project means that we have the right partners in place and we have an opportunity to develop an innovative offering that could increase the choices men and women have for contraception and protection from sexually transmitted infections, globally," said John Fair, President and COO of Evofem.
Evofem Holdings, Inc. seeks to address a growing global contraceptive market, while delivering effective, woman-controlled products with global distribution. Evofem Holdings, Inc. has two lead product candidates: Amphora®, a vaginal contraceptive gel, and the Nestorone® Ring, a one-year contraceptive vaginal ring, both of which have completed Phase III clinical studies. For more information on the Company, visit www.evofem.com.
Since 1989, the nonprofit organization DKT International has been promoting family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention through social marketing and is one of the largest private providers of family planning and reproductive health products and services in the developing world, serving 28 million couples in 2014, and preventing 6.5 million unwanted pregnancies, 12,527 maternal deaths, and 3.6 million abortions. For more information, visit www.dktinternational.org.
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1 Condom Fact Sheet In Brief. (2013). Retrieved January 21, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/brief.html
2 The Journal of Infectious Diseases. (n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2016, from http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/184/4/418.full
SOURCE Evofem Holdings, Inc.