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NIH modifies 'VOICE' HIV prevention study in women
Date:9/28/2011

A large-scale clinical trial evaluating whether daily use of an oral tablet or vaginal gel containing antiretroviral drugs can prevent HIV infection in women is being modified because an interim review found that the study cannot show that one of the study products, oral tenofovir, marketed under the trade name Viread, is effective.

An independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) recommended that the Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic (VOICE) study discontinue evaluating tenofovir tablets because the study will be unable to show a difference in effect between tenofovir tablets and placebo tablets. The DSMB found no safety concerns with oral tenofovir, which is currently used to treat HIV, or with the other products that will continue to be investigated as the VOICE study proceeds.

As the trial's primary sponsor, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, concurred with the DSMB's recommendation and will modify the study. Because the trial is continuing, the study data remain confidential and restricted to DSMB analysis. Given that data are unavailable, NIAID cannot speculate about why oral tenofovir did not show an effect among VOICE study participants.

Begun in September 2009, the VOICE study, or MTN-003, involves more than 5,000 HIV-uninfected women in South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The trial was designed to test the safety, effectiveness and acceptability of two different HIV prevention strategies: an investigational microbicide gel containing tenofovir, and oral tablets containing tenofovir either alone or co-formulated with the drug emtricitabine. The tablets, known by the brand names Viread (tenofovir) and Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine), have been taken daily in an approach known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

After its routine review of the study data on Sept. 16, the DSMB recommended that the investigators stop eva
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Contact: Laura Leifman
sivitzl@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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