Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combination microbicides protect monkeys against HIV-like virus

02.11.2005


Experiments in female monkeys have for the first time shown that when used in combination, vaginal gels known as microbicides can protect against an HIV-like virus. The research, funded largely by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggests that similar combination microbicides could potentially provide a safe, effective and practical way to prevent HIV transmission to women, according to study investigators.



The study, published online October 30 in the journal Nature, represents the first successful testing of combination microbicides in a primate model.

Women make up nearly half of all people living with HIV worldwide, and a vast majority of new cases of HIV infection in women result from heterosexual intercourse. "This study demonstrates that combination microbicides are feasible," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "We need to build on these promising animal studies and move toward establishing the safety and effectiveness of combination microbicides in women."


Vaginal microbicides include creams, gels or other substances that could be applied topically to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. At least five different candidate microbicides currently are being evaluated in large clinical trials, but no microbicide has yet been approved for human use.

The Nature study was led by John P. Moore, Ph.D., of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, and Ronald S. Veazey, D.V.M., Ph.D., of the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington, LA. For the experiments, they used simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV), a hybrid virus made in the laboratory from HIV and its cousin, SIV, which infects only non-human primates. The researchers tested three microbicide gels alone and in combination. Two contained small molecules and the third featured a modified assembly of protein building blocks; each of the three was designed to block SHIV from entering specific cells in the vaginal area and thereby prevent the virus from invading the monkey’s body. The two small molecules were provided by Bristol Myers Squibb Inc. (BMS), based in Wallingford, CT, and Merck Research Laboratories, headquartered in Rahway, NJ. Weill Cornell Medical College supplied the third compound, which is similar to the approved anti-HIV drug Enfuvirtide (Fuzeon).

During testing, researchers sedated the monkeys, applied the experimental gels, and exposed the animals to a single virus dose 30 minutes to 12 hours later.

Each of the three microbicide gels provided protection against the virus when used alone. Moreover, of the 20 monkeys given the BMS and Merck microbicides in combination, 16 were protected from infection. All three monkeys given the triple combination of microbicides remained virus-free. None of the monkeys appeared to experience vaginal irritation or inflammation from the experimental gels. Of note, the researchers found that the Merck and BMS compounds could be applied up to six hours prior to exposure to the virus and still offer protection.

"This is encouraging for the development of a microbicide for use in the real world," says Dr. Moore.

Jim Turpin, Ph.D., of NIAID’s Topical Microbicide Team, says, "Just as we’ve seen with combination antiviral medicines, this study shows that if you can hit two or more different targets of the virus, the greater the effectiveness of the product."

The research team deliberately chose the three specific test compounds for several reasons. "We felt these inhibitors were likely to be fairly safe," says Dr. Veazey. "Similar compounds have a good safety record in humans thus far."

The small molecules were also chosen for their potential as a cost-effective product for women. "A microbicide has to be safe, effective and socially acceptable, but the cost of its active ingredients will also be an issue," says Dr. Moore. "We didn’t want to work with inhibitors that could not be made in large quantities or would be produced only at great expense. Instead, we selected compounds similar to those now being developed as antiviral drugs for treating HIV-1 infection because we thought they might be practical to develop as a microbicide."

Although encouraged by their findings, Dr. Moore notes, "Animal studies are an important step, but there is much more work that needs to be done before a product can be made available for human use. Small clinical trials to determine safety and optimal dosage will be the next stage."

Kathy Stover | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.niaid.nih.gov

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>