Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced an exclusive licensing
agreement to commercialize the Population Council's investigational
contraceptive vaginal ring in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The ring,
which contains two hormonal products - ethinyl estradiol and Nestorone, a
novel, synthetic progestin - is currently in Phase 3 clinical development.
"This ring, if approved, will provide women with an important new
user-controlled long-term contraceptive method," says Population Council
President Peter J. Donaldson. "We are pleased to be entering into this
agreement with Watson, which has made its commitment to women's health a
cornerstone of its business."
"The addition of this novel vaginal ring product further expands our
contraceptive portfolio by adding a unique contraceptive choice for women,"
says Fred Wilkinson, Watson's executive vice president of global brands. "The
Population Council is a leading force in the development of reproductive
health products and a natural ally for Watson as we continue to focus on
providing women with a wide array of safe, effective options for reproductive
Under the terms of the agreement, Watson will pay the Population Council
an undisclosed licensing fee and make additional payments based on the
achievement of certain regulatory and sales performance milestones. If the
product is successfully commercialized, Watson also will pay royalties based
on sales in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. As a result of this
agreement, Watson will assume responsibility for specific future development,
regulatory, and marketing expenses related to the commercialization of the
contraceptive ring. In addition, the agreement has special provisions for
providing the product to certain public-sector organizations.
The Nestorone/ethinyl estradiol contraceptive vaginal ring is designed to
simultaneously release Nestorone along with a low dose of ethinyl estradiol
for up to 13 cycles (one full year). The ring remains in the vagina for three
weeks per cycle, followed by one ring-free week. It is intended to be inserted
and removed by the woman herself without the help of a healthcare