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Einstein receives $12 million grant to develop device for preventing HIV infection
Date:3/8/2013

The ideal intravaginal ring must release sufficient concentrations of drug to protect women at increased risk of HIV infection. And it will contain drugs that are:

  • active in the vagina, cervix and rectum;
  • capable of both rapid and sustained drug delivery for at least one month;
  • effective against many different HIV subtypes;
  • safe;
  • inexpensive;
  • stable without needing refrigeration.

The five-year project will determine if the drug released from the ring retains anti-HIV activity in the presence of vaginal secretions. In addition, studies involving non-human primates aimed at optimizing the vaginal ring's design will be conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In tests to see if two drugs work better than one, the ring will be impregnated with a second drug that inhibits HIV through a mechanism different from the first drug. A clinical study to assess the ring's safety will also be carried out; this part of the project will include U.S. women taking oral contraceptives.

The grant will also fund a clinical study to assess safety and pharmacokinetics in women on Depo Provera in Kenya (led by Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Washington, and Nelly Mugo, M.P.H., from Kenyatta National Hospital) and in U.S. women on oral contraceptive pills (led by Marla Keller, M.D., associate professor of medicine and of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health at Einstein and attending physician of medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein).

"We're optimistic that the intravaginal approach to preventing HIV infection will overcome the problem of having to remember to use oral or gel products daily and will empower women to protect themselves against HIV," s
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Contact: Kim Newman
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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