Recent Publications - HIV

Long-Acting Drugs and Formulations for the Treatment and Prevention of HIV

Date: 
11/6/20
Citation: 

Flexner C, Owen A, Siccardi M, Swindells S. Long-Acting Drugs and Formulations for the Treatment and Prevention of HIV,
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents,2020, 106220,ISSN 0924-8579.

Long acting and extended-release formulations represent one of the most important approaches to improving the treatment and prevention of chronic HIV infection. Long acting small molecules and monoclonal antibodies have demonstrated potent anti-HIV activity in early and late stage clinical trials. Strategies to manage toxicities and falling drug concentrations after missed doses, as well as primary and secondary resistance to current drugs and monoclonal antibodies are important considerations.

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Exploration into the opinions of patients with HIV, healthcare professionals and the lay public of the use of microneedles in clinical practice: highlighting the translational potential for their role in HIV infection

Date: 
9/18/20
Citation: 

Moffatt K, Quinn C, McCague PJ, Donnelly RF. Exploration into the opinions of patients with HIV, healthcare professionals and the lay public of the use of microneedles in clinical practice: highlighting the translational potential for their role in HIV infection. Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2020 Sep 18. doi: 10.1007/s13346-020-00848-8. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32946042.

Poor adherence to oral antiretroviral therapy (ART) remains an important challenge in the treatment of HIV. Microneedles (MN) potentially could offer a non-invasive long-acting (LA) delivery approach, avoiding the need for daily dosing of ART. However, this claim has yet to be explored amongst its potential end-users. The aim of this mixed methods study was to investigate the perspectives from various end-users surrounding the translation of MN technology to general clinical practice, with a particular focus on delivery of ART. Quantitative postal questionnaires were distributed amongst healthcare professionals (HCPs) and the lay public (LP). A total of 208 responses were obtained (HCP, 69; LP, 139), with a completion rate of 34.7%. The consensus on MN technology was positive from both demographics (HCP, 97.1%; LP, 98.6%), with further strong support of postulated MN use within HIV (HCP, 97.1%; LP, 98.6%). 

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A year-long extended release nanoformulated cabotegravir prodrug

Date: 
8/15/20
Citation: 

Kulkarni TA, Bade AN, Sillman B, et al. A year-long extended release nanoformulated cabotegravir prodrug. Nat Mater. 2020;19(8):910-920. doi:10.1038/s41563-020-0674-z

Long-acting cabotegravir (CAB) extends antiretroviral drug administration from daily to monthly. However, dosing volumes, injection site reactions and health-care oversight are obstacles towards a broad usage. The creation of poloxamer-coated hydrophobic and lipophilic CAB prodrugs with controlled hydrolysis and tissue penetrance can overcome these obstacles. To such ends, fatty acid ester CAB nanocrystal prodrugs with 14, 18 and 22 added carbon chains were encased in biocompatible surfactants named NMCAB, NM2CAB and NM3CAB and tested for drug release, activation, cytotoxicity, antiretroviral activities, pharmacokinetics and biodistribution.

Controlled Solvent Removal from Antiviral Drugs and Excipients in Solution Enables the Formation of Novel Combination Multi-Drug-Motifs in Pharmaceutical Powders Composed of Lopinavir, Ritonavir and Tenofovir

Date: 
8/10/20
Citation: 

Yu J, Yu D, Lane S, McConnachie L, Ho RJY. Controlled Solvent Removal from Antiviral Drugs and Excipients in Solution Enables the Formation of Novel Combination Multi-Drug-Motifs in Pharmaceutical Powders Composed of Lopinavir, Ritonavir and Tenofovir. J Pharm Sci. 2020 Aug 10:S0022-3549(20)30434-2. doi: 10.1016/j.xphs.2020.08.003. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32791073.

Diverging physicochemical properties of HIV drug combinations are challenging to formulate as a single dosage form. We have found that 2-to-4 hydrophilic and hydrophobic HIV drugs in combination can be stabilized with lipid excipients under a controlled solvent removal process to form a novel pharmaceutical powder distinct from typical amorphous material. This discovery has enabled production of a drug combination nanoparticle (DcNP) powder composed of 3 HIV drugs-water-insoluble lopinavir (LogP = 4.7) and ritonavir (LogP = 5.6) and water-soluble tenofovir (LogP = -1.6). 

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Pharmacokinetics, Safety and Tolerability of Long-Acting Parenteral Intramuscular Injection Formulations of Doravirine

Date: 
6/5/20
Citation: 

Yee KL, Mittal S, Fan L, et al. Pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability of long-acting parenteral intramuscular injection formulations of doravirine [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 5]. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2020;10.1111/jcpt.13182. doi:10.1111/jcpt.13182. PMID: 32501541.

Doravirine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection. This phase 1 study in healthy adults investigated the pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability of long-acting parenteral (LAP) microsuspension formulations of doravirine administered as an intramuscular (IM) injection.

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The Potential Impact of Long-Acting Cabotegravir for HIV Prevention in South Africa: A Mathematical Modelling Study

Date: 
6/3/20
Citation: 

Smith JA, Garnett GP, Hallett TB. The Potential Impact of Long-Acting Cabotegravir for HIV Prevention in South Africa: A Mathematical Modelling Study. J Infect Dis. 2020 Jun 3. pii: jiaa296. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa296. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32492704.

Although effective, some oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users face barriers to adherence using daily pills, which could be reduced by long-acting formulations. Long-acting cabotegravir (CAB LA) is a potential new injectable formulation for HIV PrEP being tested in Phase III trials.

Development of a long-acting direct-acting antiviral system for hepatitis C virus treatment in swine

Date: 
6/2/20
Citation: 

Verma M, Chu JN, Salama JAF, et al. Development of a long-acting direct-acting antiviral system for hepatitis C virus treatment in swine. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020;117(22):11987-11994. doi:10.1073/pnas.2004746117

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of cirrhosis worldwide and kills more Americans than 59 other infections, including HIV and tuberculosis, combined. While direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatments are effective, limited uptake of therapy, particularly in high-risk groups, remains a substantial barrier to eliminating HCV. We developed a long-acting DAA system (LA-DAAS) capable of prolonged dosing and explored its cost-effectiveness. We designed a retrievable coil-shaped LA-DAAS compatible with nasogastric tube administration and the capacity to encapsulate and release gram levels of drugs while resident in the stomach. We formulated DAAs in drug-polymer pills and studied the release kinetics for 1 mo in vitro and in vivo in a swine model. The LA-DAAS was equipped with ethanol and temperature sensors linked via Bluetooth to a phone application to provide patient engagement. 

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Addressing the global burden of hepatitis B virus while developing long-acting injectables for the prevention and treatment of HIV

Date: 
6/1/20
Citation: 

Bollinger RC, Thio CL, Sulkowski MS, McKenzie-White J, Thomas DL, Flexner C. Addressing the global burden of hepatitis B virus while developing long-acting injectables for the prevention and treatment of HIV. Lancet HIV. 2020 Jun;7(6):e443-e448. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3018(19)30342-X. Epub 2019 Dec 20. PMID: 31870675; PMCID: PMC7376366.

The first long-acting formulations of HIV drugs are undergoing regulatory review for use in maintenance of viral suppression in people with HIV. Although these novel drug formulations could contribute greatly to HIV treatment and prevention efforts, their lack of activity against hepatitis B virus (HBV) could limit their global impact, particularly in populations with high burdens of both HIV and HBV.

Predicting pharmacokinetics of a tenofovir alafenamide subcutaneous implant using PBPK modelling

Date: 
5/18/20
Citation: 

Rajoli RKR, Demkovich ZR, Flexner C, Owen A, Siccardi M. Predicting pharmacokinetics of a tenofovir alafenamide subcutaneous implant using PBPK modelling. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020 May 18:AAC.00155-20. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00155-20. PMID: 32423957.

Long-acting (LA) administration using a subcutaneous (SC) implant presents opportunities to simplify administration of antiretroviral drugs, improve pharmacological (PK) profile and overcome sub-optimal adherence associated with daily oral formulations. Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) is a highly potent nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) and an attractive agent for LA delivery, with a high potency and long intracellular half-life. The aim of this study was to predict minimum TAF doses required to achieve concentrations effective for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Daily drug-release requirements were then ascertained by averaging across the dosing interval.

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Integration of Computational and Experimental Approaches to Elucidate Mechanisms of First-Pass Lymphatic Drug Sequestration and Long-Acting Pharmacokinetics of the Injectable Triple-HIV Drug Combination TLC-ART 101

Date: 
5/15/20
Citation: 

Perazzolo S, Shireman LM, McConnachie LA, Koehn J, Kinman L, Lee W, Lane S, Collier AC, Shen DD, Ho RJY. Integration of Computational and Experimental Approaches to Elucidate Mechanisms of First-Pass Lymphatic Drug Sequestration and Long-Acting Pharmacokinetics of the Injectable Triple-HIV Drug Combination TLC-ART 101. J Pharm Sci. 2020 May;109(5):1789-1801. doi: 10.1016/j.xphs.2020.01.016. Epub 2020 Jan 29. PMID: 32006525.

TLC-ART101 is a long-acting triple-HIV drug combination of lopinavir-ritonavir-tenofovir in one nanosuspension intended for subcutaneous injection. After a single TLC-ART 101 administration in nonhuman primates, drug concentrations in both plasma and HIV-target lymph node mononuclear cells were sustained for 2 weeks. Nevertheless, the mechanisms leading to the targeted long-acting pharmacokinetics remain elusive. Therefore, an intravenous study of TLC-ART 101 in nonhuman primates was conducted to elucidate the degree of association of drugs in vivo, estimate subcutaneous bioavailability, and refine a mechanism-based pharmacokinetic (MBPK2) model. The MBPK2 model considers TLC-ART 101 systemic drug clearances, nanoparticle-associated/dissociated species, more detailed mechanisms of lymphatic first-pass retention of associated-drugs after subcutaneous administrations, and the prediction of drug concentration time-courses in lymph node mononuclear cells. 

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