1x Week HIV Drug in the Works

Due to the significant burden of daily adherence treatment plans, typical HIV antiretroviral therapy suffers greatly from non-adherence. Authors of a new study published in Nature Communications say that their novel oral dosage system, which involves a folding and recoiling form that retains its integrity in the stomach, is effective at delivering antiretrovirals in pigs. The dosage form’s six-armed structure utilizes three different drug-polymer matrices that control rate of release, allowing for the long acting drug to be taken only once per week.

In addition to its use for antiretroviral therapy in HIV+ individuals, the authors suggest that their system could be used to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS by increasing adherence to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for high-risk uninfected individuals. Their predictive model on the effect of an available weekly PrEP regimen on high-risk populations between ages 15 and 29 predicts “approximately 200,000 additional infections averted over 20 years—a 3.4% cumulative reduction.”

The researchers note that further studies must be done in other models, such as non-human primates. Nonetheless, the presented system provides a promising start to a potential paradigm shift in treating HIV+ patients, a disproportionate number of whom are ethnic and racial minorities, gay and bisexual men, and transgender women who have sex with men.

You can read the BBC’s coverage of the study here: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42610315?SThisFB

You can access the full text in Nature Communications here: http://rdcu.be/EwVP