Towards a roadmap to advance non-hormonal contraceptive multipurpose prevention technologies: strategic insights from key stakeholders
The development of non-hormonal contraceptives is critical to increase options for women. In combination with prevention against sexually transmitted infections, they can become an important component of multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) which address multiple reproductive health needs with a single product. Resulting from multiple rounds of expert consultations, this framework aims to guide the development of non-hormonal contraceptive MPTs. Key informant interviews with experts in family planning and HIV and STI prevention and MPT product developers and funders from around the globe were conducted, reviewed, and coded. Identified key themes were discussed by experts at the November 2019 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Contraceptive Development Meeting in Houston, Texas. Seven action strategies were identified to address key research gaps and priorities for advancing the field. They highlight the importance of identifying target populations, a systematic approach to collaborative research, and leveraging knowledge from other fields, including regulatory and patenting, manufacturing, and commercialization expertise. Employing expanded target product profiles and setting go/no-go decisions for non-hormonal MPTs will help to prioritize the most promising candidates in the drug development pipeline. Further, they call for optimizing investments and engagement of stakeholders from public and private sectors. These action strategies aim to facilitate collaboration and innovation amongst multidisciplinary MPT stakeholders. Paramount to success will be enhancing strategic alliances and reconciling the essential social–behavioral context and market forces that drive product use with the complexities of research and development, regulatory approval, and commercialization.