Melbourne – Starpharma Holdings Limited announced today that their VivaGel, a vaginal microbicide gel under development for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including genital herpes and HIV infection, has been approved in Japan as a patent registration.
This approval means that VivaGel and the VivaGel coated condom are now covered by granted patents in all major markets including Europe, the US and Japan.
Last month Starpharma announced a full licence agreement with SSL International in relation to the VivaGel coated condom. In addition Starpharma is continuing to develop VivaGel as a stand-alone product for use by women to protect themselves from HIV and genital herpes. The development for these two indications has significant NIH support.
The commonly used coating on premium condoms is Nonoxynol 9 (N-9), which has spermicidal properties. However, because of its detergent nature, N-9 has been shown to increase the risk of infection with HIV and other viruses such as HSV-2. This is why Starpharma has signed agreements with two leading condom companies to develop VivaGel as a condom coating. So the recent granted patents mean that we will probably soon see Durex market the first VivaGel coated condoms.