Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Tools for more accurate dosage of drugs against HIV/AIDS and malaria

A doctoral thesis presented at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that it is possible to describe and quantify the relationships between dose, concentration and effectiveness of several drugs against HIV/AIDS and malaria. The method may allow improved treatment and fewer undesired effects for patients with these diseases.

Registered pharmacist Daniel Röshammar has in his thesis studied the optimal use of certain pharmaceutical substances that are used to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria. He has analysed, among other things, data from 121 healthy volunteers from Uganda using a mathematical model known as a pharmacometric model.

The study showed that both sex and genetic differences between individuals influence the way in which the body metabolises efavirenz, which is part of some anti-HIV/AIDS drugs. Other studies have focussed on 74 people from Zimbabwe with HIV/AIDS, and showed that a reduction in the daily dose of efavirenz from 600 mg to 400 mg can reduce the risk of undesired effects in those affected who have a genetically conditioned poorer ability to catabolise the substance.

"Many HIV/AIDS patients are treated with efavirenz, and they should be genetically tested using a blood test before deciding on a dose. This is particularly important in Africa, where the fraction of patients with a poorer catabolic ability is greater than it is elsewhere", says Daniel Röshammar.

Repeated measurements of the drug concentrations and virus levels in 239 previously untreated Scandinavian patients with HIV/AIDS allowed a similar model to be used in order to study the antiretroviral effects of anti-HIV/AIDS drugs. Calculations showed that treatment in which efavirenz was combined with other pharmaceutical substances was more effective than two other frequently used combination treatments.

"It may be possible in the future to use the model to predict when the treatment will loose its effectiveness for an individual patient, and explain why", says Daniel Röshammar.

Further work involved using a model to describe how the catabolism of the anti-malarial drug artemisinin increases and the concentration of the drug decreases when patients take this drug. When artemisinin was given to 97 patients in Vietnam without other drugs, approximately 37% of them were affected by recrudescent malaria. The model showed that this could not be explained solely by low drug concentrations. Another anti-malarial drug, piperaquine, may be a suitable partner for artemisinin in the treatment of malaria. An investigation of 12 Vietnamese study subjects, however, allowed scientists to estimate that the levels of piperaquine that remain in the body are too low to be effective, and this increases the risk that the malaria parasite will develop resistance.

"Research shows that pharmacometric models can be adapted to patient data in order to understand the relationships between drug concentration, effectiveness and the progress of disease, while at the same time taking into consideration differences between patients such as, for example, weight, age, sex, genetic factors, other diseases and other drugs. We expect that these tools will be important in the fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria", says Daniel Röshammar.

The thesis has been written by:
Registered pharmacist Daniel Röshammar, telephone: +46 733 924602, e-mail:
Professor Michael Ashton, telephone: +46 31 786 3412, e-mail:
The thesis has been presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) at the Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology

Title of the thesis: Applied Population Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Modeling of Antiretroviral and Antimalarial Drug Therapy

Press information: Ulrika Lundin
Public relations officer, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg
Telephone: +46 31 786 3869, +46 70-775 8851

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information: -

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>