Bill Gates Grants Hervana $1M for Contraceptive

Hervana has been awarded a $1 million Round 4 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a long-acting, non-hormonal contraceptive platform technology. It will only have to be applied once or twice a month via a vaginal suppository – as opposed to the widely used birth-control pill, which must be taken daily and contains hormones that carry health risks. According to the company’s CEO and founder Rachel Teitelbaum there is a need especially in developing countries for a contraceptive free of health risks and medical procedures. In some parts of the world where women are solely responsible for family planning, there are simply no viable options.

“There are over 220 million women, according to World Health Organization reports, who don’t have access to an effective method of contraception,” says the US-born Teitelbaum, “and 50 million abortions per year in the developing world, which are likely to be a product of the lack of contraceptive availability. They need something that is going to be accessible, low-cost, convenient and non-invasive. That is one of the reasons why the Gates Foundation was excited about this application for the developing world.”

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