Lyndra Therapeutics to Develop Once-Monthly Oral Contraceptive
$13 Million Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant to Fund Development Program to Address Lack of Family Planning Options Globally
WATERTOWN, Mass., July 30, 2019 – Lyndra Therapeutics, the company making daily pills a thing of the past, today announced it has received a $13 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of an oral contraceptive which would last for multiple weeks. Currently under consideration as a once-a-month contraceptive, the oral dosage form would provide women with a discreet, non-invasive option to support their family planning.
The grant is part of the Bill & Melinda Gates 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. As of 2017, nearly 214 million women of reproductive age (15-49) in developing regions who want to avoid pregnancy are not using modern contraceptives. Of the estimated 206 million pregnancies in developing regions in 2017, 43 percent were unintended, and care related to these pregnancies totals $8.3 billion annually.*
“This grant is special because it extends our focus on meeting unmet therapeutic need into women’s health,” said Amy Schulman, CEO and co-founder of Lyndra Therapeutics. “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.”
With the funds, Lyndra is currently designing and building a new once-monthly oral combination therapy that delivers a continuous dose of estrogen and progestin, the same drugs used in daily combined oral contraceptives. The development program is focused on demonstrating that once-monthly residence is achievable. This includes preclinical evaluation, which Lyndra will conduct in collaboration with Routes2Results, a non-profit social and public health research organization and collective with extensive regional expertise, through additional funding from the foundation.
The foundation also awarded Lyndra a grant for the development of a long-acting malaria drug and invested in Lyndra’s recent Series B financing round, funds the company will use for Phase II clinical trials, expansion of its Phase I pipeline and manufacturing scale-up.
*Adding It Up: The Costs and Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health 2017, Guttmacher Institute.
About Lyndra Therapeutics’ Platform
Lyndra Therapeutics’ orally administered dosage form is designed to deliver sustained, steady-state release of one or more drugs for up to a week or longer while temporarily residing in the stomach. Taking a single, long-acting pill weekly instead of daily or more often can improve medication adherence and health outcomes while reducing burdens on individuals and their caregivers. Inside a familiar capsule is a star-shaped formulation with active pharmaceutical ingredients that are released consistently over time. The formulation, which is designed to open once inside the stomach, eventually exits safely via the gastrointestinal tract, like undigested food.
About Lyndra Therapeutics
Lyndra Therapeutics aims to improve healthcare outcomes through oral, ultra-long-acting, sustained-release therapies that change how people take medicines. Instead of taking medications daily or more frequently, doses would be administered weekly or monthly, improving medication adherence for better health outcomes and lower healthcare costs. Delivering controlled amounts of medicine would also reduce side effects and improve drug efficacy. For more information, visit the company’s website www.lyndra.com.