Gates Foundation Awards $13 Million for Oral Contraceptive

Gates Foundation Awards $13 Million for Oral Contraceptive

Lyndra Therapeutics in Watertown, Massachusetts, has announced a $13 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a once-monthly oral contraceptive.

Awarded through the foundation's Family Planning program, which is working to bring access to high-quality contraceptive information, services, and supplies to women in low- and middle-income countries, the grant will support the development of an oral combination therapy that delivers a continuous dose of estrogen and progestin — the same drugs used in daily oral contraceptives — over multiple weeks. The effort will include preclinical evaluations, which Lyndra will conduct in collaboration with Routes2Results, a nonprofit social and public health research organization.

A once-monthly oral contraceptive would provide women with a discreet, non-invasive option in support of their family planning. As of 2017, nearly two hundred and fourteen million women in developing regions of the world who wanted to avoid pregnancy were not using modern contraceptives.

The Gates Foundation previously awarded the company a grant for the development of a long-acting malaria drug and invested in its Series B financing round earlier this year.

"This grant is special because it extends our focus on meeting unmet therapeutic need into women’s health," said Lyndra Therapeutics co-founder and CEO Amy Schulman. "We are proud to be part of the foundation’s effort to improve lives and ensure better health outcomes by making it easier to access and benefit from family planning."

"Lyndra Therapeutics to Develop Once-Monthly Oral Contraceptive." Lyndra Therapeutics Press Release 07/30/2019.