Navigation Links
Einstein to develop anti-HIV drug delivery system
Date:10/2/2009

October 2, 2009 (BRONX, NY) The National Institutes of Health has awarded Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University a four-year, $7.2 million grant to develop a microbicide-releasing vaginal ring to prevent HIV transmission.

"While condoms are excellent at preventing the transmission of HIV, it's often difficult for women to negotiate their use," says principal investigator Betsy C. Herold, M.D., professor of pediatrics, of microbiology & immunology, and of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health at Einstein. "It's imperative that women have alternative strategies available to protect their own health. Our belief is that an intravaginal ring that delivers a combination of drugs is the best strategy."

Vaginal rings are soft, plastic, doughnut-shaped devices designed to provide controlled release of drugs to the vagina over extended periods. At present, there are several models available for delivering contraceptives, but none for microbicides.

Dr. Herold and her colleagues will evaluate several anti-HIV microbicides, ultimately aiming for a two-drug combination. "Over the last decade, we've learned that when you expose HIV to a single drug, you make it easier to select for resistance," she says. "So, we are trying to target HIV infection at two different steps very early in its life cycle, which should prevent the establishment of any infection."

One of the drugs to be evaluated is tenofovir, which blocks reverse transcriptase, an enzyme crucial to HIV reproduction. Tenofovir is used currently as an oral systemic therapy against HIV, but it has also shown promise as a topical microbicide. The team will also test the efficacy of two so-called fusion inhibitors, including maraviroc and PIE12-trimer, which block the virus from entering target immune cells by different mechanisms.

The team will pay particular attention to choosing microbicides that preserve natural vaginal defenses against HIV. In recent years, supposedly safe microbicides were found to make women more susceptible to HIV infection. As Dr. Herold demonstrated in an earlier study, (http://www.einstein.yu.edu/home/news.asp?id=381) these microbicides most likely failed because they disrupted the vagina's epithelial lining, which provides a protective barrier against infection.

"We want to preserve that protective barrier while adding drugs that will be at the right place at the right time when the virus presents," says Dr. Herold. "That is why a ring, which can provide sustained delivery of the microbicide over three to four weeks, would be ideal. People wouldn't have to remember to use it, which is a problem with gels and pills. Also, we don't know if oral medications will get to the right place some drugs get into the genital tract well, but some don't." The ring could be replaced monthly without a doctor's supervision.

The microbicides will be incorporated into vaginal ring under development at the University of Utah, Department of Bioengineering, which is collaborating on the study.

"We've deliberately chosen to focus on drugs that have already been approved for systemic use or are far along in the regulatory process. This should shorten the time it takes to begin clinical trials. We know that every day that goes by, more people are getting infected with HIV," says Dr. Herold. The researchers hope to start Phase I clinical testing within the next four years.

The need for a microbicide-releasing vaginal ring is especially urgent in sub-Saharan Africa, where the infection rate among 15 to 49 year-olds exceeds 23 percent in some countries. AIDS is the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa and women account for six out of ten of those living with HIV. "But this is not just a global health problem," says Dr. Herold. "This is a problem here in the U.S. The rates of HIV in certain regions in this country parallel the rates in many areas of developing world."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national infection rate in the United States is 1 percent; in D.C., it is 3 percent, and in the Bronx, 1.7 percent. While men still have higher rates of infection than women in the U.S., AIDS is a common killer for women ranking third after cancer and heart disease. As of 2007, there were 9,000 women with HIV/AIDS living in the Bronx.


'/>"/>

Contact: Deirdre Branley
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Einstein scientists move closer to a safer anthrax vaccine
2. Einstein researchers devise a fast and sensitive way to detect ricin
3. NIH funds research center for womens reproductive health at Einstein
4. Einstein and Pitt researchers develop new TB test that will dramatically cut diagnosis time
5. Empire State Stem Cell Board awards $12.7 million to Albert Einstein College of Medicine
6. Einstein scientists receive $10 million NIH grant
7. Einstein researchers develop technique to count messages made by single genes
8. Einstein researchers develop a new way to study how breast cancer spreads
9. In scientific first, Einstein researchers correct decline in organ function associated with old age
10. Feinstein researchers develop new genetic method and identify novel genes for schizophrenia
11. Einstein researchers receive grants totaling $700,000 for innovative breast cancer research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Einstein to develop anti-HIV drug delivery system
(Date:4/3/2017)... April 3, 2017  Data captured by ... platform, detected a statistically significant association between ... to treatment and objective response of cancer ... to predict whether cancer patients will respond ... as well as to improve both pre-infusion potency ...
(Date:3/29/2017)...  higi, the health IT company that operates the ... , today announced a Series B investment from ... The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to ... population health activities through the collection and workflow integration ... collects and secures data today on behalf of over ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric ... of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... line of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating ... Kindred takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the ... and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... On ... and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The ... The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: