Researchers from the University of Liverpool presented data this week evaluating the use of nanotechnology to improve drug therapies for HIV patients. The team touted its data at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.
The trial enrolled healthy patients and evaluated the use of orally-dosed solid drug nanoparticles to optimize HIV therapy, according to lead researchers Andrew Owen and Steve Rannard.
The results demonstrated that the solid drug nanoparticles can cut the therapy dose of 2 drugs, efavirenz and lopinavir, by 50%, while maintaining therapeutic exposure.
Efavirenz is the WHO-recommended preferred HIV regimen and 70% of adult patients take an efavirenz-based HIV treatment in low- and middle-income countries.
Traditional HIV therapies require multiple oral doses of drugs per day, bringing with them a host of problems that can lead to non-adherence. Researchers, including the Liverpool team, are searching to improve drug absorption, reduce the dose and cost per dose, while enabling healthcare budgets to treat more patients.
“The potential applications for HIV treatment are incredibly promising,” USAID’s office of HIV/AIDS research division chief Benny Kottiri said in prepared remarks. “By aligning efforts, these integrated investments offer the potential to reduce the doses required to control the HIV virus even further, resulting in real benefits globally. This would enable the costs of therapy to be reduced which is particularly beneficial for resource-limited countries where the burden of disease is highest.”
In October last year, Owen’s team touted its method for delivering pediatric HIV drugs using solid drug nanoparticles,.
The researchers examined a conventional method that uses ethanol to solubilize a pediatric HIV medicine, lopinavir. The drug is not easily soluble, so creating an oral formulation that can efficiently deliver the drug for treatment is tricky.
The team generated a water dispersible nanotherapy using solid drug nanoparticles, removing the need to use alcohol in the medicine.