Coming Soon: AntiViral Gel in Condoms to Kill HIV Virus

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By Smitha Nambiar | July 22, 2014 4:50 PM EST

Antiviral VivaGel in Ansell condoms, which is capable of inactivating 99.9 per cent of HIV virus, will be available in the Australian market within few months. The special technology has been designed by Australian biotechnology firm Starpharma.

Reuters
Students receive free condoms at an event organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on World Population Day in Manila July 11, 2014.

Starpharma, a biotechnology firm, based out of Australia has received Therapeutic Goods Administration approval for its special anti viral gel technology. The gel, to be used in Ansell condoms, has an antiviral compound, which can inactivate 99.9 per cent of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, herpes and human papilloma virus. The gel falls under Ansell's LifeStyle Dual Protect line. However, the doctors have made it clear that the gel is not "foolproof," and cannot guarantee 100 per cent protection against HIV virus.

Speaking about the new antiviral gel, Dr Jackie Fairley, Starpharma's chief executive, told ABC Australia, "Anything that you can do to reduce the number of virus particles by inactivating them with a substance like VivaGel would reduce the overall viral load. The more viral particles you're exposed to, that typically translates into a greater chance of infection." Fairley further added, "There is a final step, which is a relatively rapid step which is likely to be a matter of a few weeks for listing on the ARTG."

Stating that Starpharma would receive royalties from sales of Ansell condoms using the new anti-viral VivaGel, Peter Carroll, who heads the Ansell's Sexual Wellness Global Business Unit, said, "Our partnership with Starpharma is a great example of two highly innovative Australian businesses working together to bring to market a ground-breaking new sexual health product." He further added, "New product development is central to Ansell's business strategy and this highly innovative product is exciting for both companies."

VivaGel got approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for clinical trials for bacterial vaginosis only last week. Though the makers claim that the gel has antibacterial properties, the recent approval was based only on the virus it was tested against.

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(Photo: Reuters / Erik de Castro)
Students receive free condoms at an event organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on World Population Day in Manila July 11, 2014.
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