GCE Phase II award from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for global health innovation
Thiruvananthapuram, May 12: HLL Lifecare Limited has won a research grant of Rs 6.43 crores from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) under the Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) Phase II award for their graphene condom project.
The USD 964,240 (approx Rs 6.43 crores) award, a follow-on to an earlier research grant for the proof-of-concept project to produce graphene condom funded by BMGF with USD 100,000 has been provided for “Pilot Scale Production and Clinical Trials of Graphene incorporated Natural Rubber Latex (GNRL) Condoms”.
The research team, led by Dr. Lakshminarayanan Ragupathy, had successfully completed the first phase of the study, which involved producing the proto-type of graphene - natural rubber latex nanocomposites based condoms for high heat transfer, improved sensitivity and drug delivery as an approach to increasing the "sexual pleasure and the value of condoms”.
“This second stage investment will be used for the scaling up graphene incorporated Natural Rubber Latex condom production,” said HLL Chairman & Managing Director Dr. M Ayyappan. “The fund will also be utilised for the incorporation of graphene into NRL latex, quality checking, viral penetration test and stability and clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy. HLL is hoping to start the marketing graphene condoms to the entire world including Sub-Saharan African countries, by the end of the phase II,” added Dr. Ayyappan.
Dr. Lakshmi narayanan Ragupathy, the Polymer Scientist who was the principal investigator of this project, had earlier received the GCE fund to develop Poly (glycerol sebacate) based condoms in the Grand Challenges Explorations Round 12.
The Grand Challenges Explorations, launched by BMGF, seeks to engage more of world’s innovators to focus on major scientific challenges that will lead to preventing, treating, and curing diseases of the developing world.
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