Stage 2: Research & Development
This is Grand Challenges Canada’s second investment under a new partnership with Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), whose goal is to accelerate scale-up of promising global health innovations. In 2011, the inhaled oxytocin innovation was awarded a seed grant by Saving Lives at Birth, a partnership between Grand Challenges Canada, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.K. Department for International Development, the Government of Norway and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The single biggest pregnancy-related cause of death is excessive bleeding during or after birth, a condition that is effectively managed in developed countries using the gold standard therapy, oxytocin. Accessibility to quality oxytocin in resource-poor settings is limited, as current products are only available in an injectable form requiring supply and storage under refrigerated conditions and trained personnel to administer the product safely.
An international group of public and private organizations is collaborating to accelerate development of an innovative heat-stable and low-cost, inhaled form of oxytocin to manage postpartum hemorrhage in resource-poor settings.
How does your innovation work?
The technology, originally developed at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is being licensed to GSK as part of a collaborative agreement to co-develop, register and distribute the product in regions of high maternal mortality.
Planned Goals and Milestones
This alliance is an effort to accelerate the implementation of an affordable product in those countries with greatest need. Formulated as a dry powder, inhaled oxytocin eliminates the need for refrigerated storage conditions, while delivering oxytocin via a powder inhaler could facilitate its administration by health workers, birth attendants and mothers themselves. This approach has the potential to support women in low-resource settings who give birth outside of medical facilities.
A US $16.6M development program will be delivered, combining financial support and expertise from GSK with funding from The McCall MacBain Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and Planet Wheeler Foundation. Funding will enable Monash to complete its early phase development program. This comprehensive program over the next few years comprises preclinical and early stage clinical trials, product optimization, development of manufacturing processes, and research into local markets.