Successful results of a University of Liverpool-led trial that utilised nanotechnology to improve drug therapies for HIV patients has been presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle, a leading annual conference of HIV research, clinical practice and progress.
The healthy volunteer trial, conducted by the collaborative nanomedicine research programme led by Pharmacologist Professor Andrew Owen and Materials Chemist Professor Steve Rannard, and in collaboration with the St Stephen’s AIDS Trust at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London, examined the use of nanotechnology to improve the delivery of drugs to HIV patients. The results were from two trials that are the first to use orally dosed nanomedicine to enable HIV therapy optimisation.
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. Nanomedicine is the application of nanotechnology to the prevention and treatment of disease in the human body. By developing smaller pills that are better for patients and less expensive to manufacture, this evolving discipline has the potential to dramatically change medical science and is already having an impact in a number of clinically used therapies and diagnostics worldwide.
Currently, the treatment of HIV requires daily oral dosing of HIV drugs, and chronic oral dosing has significant complications that arise from the high pill burden experienced by many patients across populations with varying conditions leading to non-adherence to therapies.
Recent evaluation of HIV patient groups have shown a willingness to switch to nanomedicine alternatives if benefits can be shown. Research efforts by the Liverpool team have focused on the development of new oral therapies, using Solid Drug Nanoparticle (SDN) technology which can improve drug absorption into the body, reducing both the dose and the cost per dose and enabling existing healthcare budgets to treat more patients.
The trial results confirmed the potential for a 50 percent dose reduction while maintaining therapeutic exposure, using a novel approach to formulation of two drugs: efavirenz (EFV) and, lopinavir (LPV). EFV is the current WHO-recommended preferred regimen, with 70percent of adult patients on first-line taking an EFV-based HIV treatment regimen in low- and middle-income countries.
University of Liverpool news.liverpool.ac.uk/2017/02/17/new-nano-approach-to-hiv-therapy-presented-at-leading-conference/