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UNC Researchers Receive $3.74 Million to Create Injectable Technology for Contraception, HIV Prevention

Rahima Benhabbour, MSc, PhD, assistant professor in the UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), is leading a collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop the first ultra-long-acting injectable multi-purpose prevention technology (MPT) for prevention of HIV and unplanned pregnancy.


UNC School of Medicine
Rahima Benhabbour, MSc, PhD

15-Apr-2021 - Newswise CHAPEL HILL, NC —The lab of Rahima Benhabbour, PhD, has received a $3.74 million grant over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will fund the creation of an injectable that will provide long-acting protection for women against sexually transmitted pathogens and prevent pregnancy, but is also removable.

The work will be a collaboration amongst Benhabbour’s lab and three researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Gerardo Garcia-Lerma, PhD, Ivana Massud, PhD, and Charles Dobard, PhD. They will develop a new, ultra-long-acting In-Situ Forming Implant (ISFI) drug delivery system as a multi-purpose prevention technology (MPT) for the prevention of HIV and unplanned pregnancy.

Currently, there are no LA injectable MPT formulations in development, mainly because of limitations of current LA injectable formulations utilizing nanoparticle suspensions like cabotegravir and rilpivirine. These limitations include inability to combine two drugs into one formulation, and once administered, nanoparticle formulated LA injectable drugs cannot be removed in the event of breakthrough infection, toxicity, allergic response, or pregnancy.

Learn more about the Benhabbour lab and their research here.

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Source Newswise: https://www.newswise.com/articles/unc-researchers-receive-3-74-million-to-create-injectable-technology-for-contraception-hiv-prevention


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