Groningen, The Netherlands, September 11, 2020, InnoCore Pharmaceuticals, a Dutch pharmaceutical drug delivery and development company, today announced that it received a $ 1.5M grant to develop an 18-month acting injectable contraceptive using the company’s SynBiosys® bioresorbable polymeric implant technology from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The contraceptive is specifically designed to meet the needs of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable women. The program strengthens InnoCore’s activities in the field of long-acting contraceptives where it is already involved in a collaborative project funded by the foundation to develop a 6-months acting self-administrable microneedle-based contraceptive (see press release January 15, 2019).


According the World Health Organization, 218 million women of reproductive age in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method. Better access to contraceptives and voluntary family planning would result in fewer unintended pregnancies and fewer maternal and infant deaths and other poor health outcomes.


Biodurable polymer-based contraceptive implants, which provide effective contraception for up to five years, are among the most popular non-permanent methods of contraception in low and middle-income countries. These contraceptive implants, however, require a skilled professional to insert and remove the implant at the end of use. The goal of the new program is to develop a fully bioresorbable implant that can be administered via a single subcutaneous injection, thus avoiding the need for implant removal at the end of use. The contraceptive implant will provide tight control over the release kinetics of the hormone with the goal of maintaining the plasma level within its therapeutic window for a period of up to 18 months. After this period, the plasma level effectively drops to provide rapid return to fertility.


The grant will allow InnoCore to assess the technical feasibility, and perform in vivo proof-of-concept studies for the 18-months acting injectable contraceptive implant. InnoCore will make use of its unique SynBiosys ® bioresorbable polymeric drug delivery platform that allows for tightly controlled release kinetics and well controlled bioresorption. The company is excited to contribute to the development of innovative and affordable contraceptives for women in developing countries. If successful, the program will lead to an affordable long-acting contraceptive that combines more convenient administration with effective long-term contraception and full implant resorption, thereby avoiding the need for implant removal.


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