Recent advances in vaginal rings for drug delivery

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference


Drug-eluting vaginal rings are flexible torus-shaped devices fabricated from elastomeric polymers for sustained or controlled release of pharmaceutical drugs to the human vagina. The vaginal ring concept was first described in the late 1960s / early 1970s, and since then several devices have reached market, with a particular emphasis on hormonal contraception (e.g., NuvaRing®) and estrogen replacement therapy (e.g., Estring® and FemRing®). Since 2002, significant research advances have been made in the application of vaginal ring technology to the prevention of sexually acquired infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In 2016, two pivotal Phase III clinical studies were successfully completed for a matrix-type silicone elastomer vaginal ring releasing the experimental antiretroviral drug dapivirine (DapiRing®). In 2020, the European Medicines Agency gave a positive scientific opinion for use of DapiRing® by women at high risk for HIV who cannot or choose not to use daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis, and in 2021 the product was recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an additional prevention option for women. Regulatory agencies in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe have since approved DapiRing® and other approvals are pending. Driven in part by innovation and success in the HIV prevention arena, there is a renewed interest in vaginal ring technology for local and systemic administration of drugs targeted at women’s sexual and reproductive health. In this talk, Professor Malcolm, a world-leading expert in vaginal ring technology, will highlight many of the recent advances in the field, including: a new one-year hormonal contraceptive ring, rings for non-hormonal contraception, antiretroviral-releasing rings, rings for treatment of vaginal infections/dysbiosis (such as bacterial vaginosis), rings with various sensors for measuring biomarkers, microprocessor-controlled rings for on-demand drug administration via smartphone, multipurpose prevention technology (MPT) rings releasing multiple drugs and targeting multiple clinical indications, and mechanical testing of ring devices. The talk will be of general interest to those working in formulation / pharmaceutical product development and will be geared towards those with little or no previous knowledge of this specialist field of pharmaceutics and drug delivery.
Period21 Mar 2024
Event title14th World Meeting on Pharmaceutics, Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology
Event typeConference
LocationVienna, AustriaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • vaginal ring; MPTs; contraception;; silicone elastomer; EVA; HIV