"The biomedical use of a food additive -- a material widely used in the food industry for its gelling, thickening and stabilizing properties -- as a medium for a drug-delivery system is a novel idea, but we were playing to all of our strengths on the team," she said.
Previous microbicides were generally solids or liquids.
"We exploited the intermediate design space of viscoelastic materials known as gels," said Ziegler, "thus avoiding some of the drawbacks of these other dosage forms."
The real beauty of the concept, Zaveri suggested, is its potential for relatively quick commercialization because the material used to formulate the suppositories, carrageenan, is already approved, and safety studies have been done in previous microbicide clinical trials.
"Currently the suppositories are prepared in the lab by simple molding," she said. "However, the research team is investigating methods for large-scale production and packaging -- key factors to be considered for product commercialization. Considering the safety, efficacy and user-acceptability tests that we are doing, it easily is possible for a company to take this product and run with it."
|Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer|