The HIV epidemic is now quite well managed in wealthy countries, but is still spreading virtually unchecked in the developing world, and it is there that 95% of the annual toll of 2 million new infections occur. Vulnerable people are often unable to negotiate any form of protection for themselves, and there is no effective vaccine in sight.
We have modified a natural human protein to become one of the most potent anti-HIV substances known. It is designed to be safe to use and simple to produce cheaply, even in some developing countries. Mintaka has formulated this molecule, known as 5P12-RANTES, into a gel product that women, girls, and vulnerable men can apply before sex to prevent HIV infection.
Pharmaceutical-grade material has now been manufactured and the first clinical trial (safety) in humans will soon take place in Geneva. Mintaka is building partnerships to take the molecule through the subsequent steps required for the authorization to distribute it for general use involving entities in both the developed and developing worlds.
Fewer deaths and less suffering, alleviation of social and economic hardship. Local manufacture (e.g. in South Africa), leading to capacity building, creation of a skilled labour force, and inward investment. A possible market in rich countries would provide Mintaka with a sustainable revenue stream from out-licensing.