The Mintaka Foundation for Medical Research in Geneva
Giving women and girls at risk a means of protection against infection by HIV/AIDS which they can control themselves.
Every year, there are millions of new infections by HIV/AIDS. More than 95% of them occur in the developing world, and over half of the victims are women and young girls. For many reasons few are protected by condom use. To prevent infection, substances which can be applied to the genital area before sex (known as ‘microbicides’) are urgently needed.
In what is currently its principal project, Mintaka is producing new microbicides based on a protein, developed by its founders, known as PSC-RANTES, one of the most powerful anti-HIV substances known.
Mintaka is now bringing these new molecules towards clinical trials. Ultimately, it should be possible to distribute them cheaply enough even for use in the poorest countries, and it is hoped that manufacture could be transferred to at least some parts of the developing world.