Hobson JJ, Al-khouja A, Curley P, et al. Semi-solid prodrug nanoparticles for long-acting delivery of water-soluble antiretroviral drugs within combination HIV therapies. Nature Communications. 2019 Mar;10:1413. PMID: 30926773; PMCID: PMC6441007.
The increasing global prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is estimated at 36.7 million people currently infected. Lifelong antiretroviral (ARV) drug combination dosing allows management as a chronic condition by suppressing circulating viral load to allow for a near-normal life; however, the daily burden of oral administration may lead to non-adherence and drug resistance development. Long-acting (LA) depot injections of nanomilled poorly water-soluble ARVs have shown highly promising clinical results with drug exposure largely maintained over months after a single injection. ARV oral combinations rely on water-soluble backbone drugs which are not compatible with nanomilling. Here, we evaluate a unique prodrug/nanoparticle formation strategy to facilitate semi-solid prodrug nanoparticles (SSPNs) of the highly water-soluble nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) emtricitabine (FTC), and injectable aqueous nanodispersions; in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) modelling predicts sustained prodrug release, with activation in relevant biological environments, representing a first step towards complete injectable LA regimens containing NRTIs.