Columbia Labs picks up multidrug intravaginal ring created at MIT and MGH

Example of an intravaginal ring--Courtesy of Northwestern University

Under the guidance of drug delivery guru Dr. Robert Langer of MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital's Dr. William Crowley, Boston's Columbia Laboratories ($CBRX) has acquired the license to an intravaginal ring designed to deliver several different drugs at a time.

The new ring has demonstrated the ability to deliver drugs at different dosages and release rates within a single system, showing sustained effectiveness for up to three weeks with the drugs progesterone and leuprolide. And its creators believe the technology can help deliver more molecules and treat diseases current intravaginal rings cannot.

Columbia will pay MIT and the hospital undisclosed annual funds and milestone payments and share royalties with the institutions, according to a release. They intend to bring the technology through Phase II and then partner in the later stages.

"A self-administered vaginal ring provides patients with a simplified drug delivery system and should improve compliance and therefore treatment effectiveness," Crowley said in a statement.

Columbia is also on board with Actavis ($ACT) in the U.S. and Merck Serono elsewhere to develop women's health technologies for Crinone, a progesterone gel.

"This novel drug delivery technology aligns perfectly with our strategy to develop proprietary products targeting areas of unmet medical need in women, and we see numerous new product and life cycle management opportunities for it," Columbia CEO Frank Condella said. "We look forward to combining the expertise of Drs. Langer and Crowley with the in-house formulation and drug development capability of our Molecular Profiles, Ltd. subsidiary to bring important new medicines to women."

- here's the release