Thiruvananthapuram, May 12 (IANS) Condom maker HLL Lifecare Ltd on Thursday said it has secured a research grant of Rs.6.43 crore from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for its phase II graphene condom project.
The grant follows an earlier research grant for the proof-of-concept project to produce graphene condom, funded by BMGF, and has been provided for “pilot scale production and clinical trials of graphene incorporated natural rubber latex (GNRL) condoms”, the company said in a statement.
The research team, led by 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 to increase 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,” the statement said, citing Chairman and Managing Director M. Ayyappan.
“The fund will also be utilised for the incorporation of graphene into NRL latex, quality checking, viral penetration test, 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 Ayyappan.
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, the statement said.