US scientists have developed a potential new treatment for the management of HIV. A research team led by Benson Edagwa and Howard Gendelman have converted a monthly drug into a yearly injection. “This pharmaceutical development has the potential to not only treat, but also prevent viral infection. This may certainly be a therapeutic milestone” said Professor Gendelman.
The University of Nebraska scientists chemically converted cabotegavir (CAB), a monthly pill and injectable medication, into a nanocrystal. Once injected, the body`s own enzymes assist in the slow release from tissue stores. “This occurs for extended time periods, in laboratory and animal testing, for up to a year,” said Dr Edagwa.
Currently the majority of HIV medication is taken daily in pill form. Daily medication regimes need adherence to be fully effective. Missed doses can allow HIV to rebound. If clinical trials of the injectable medication are successful, the drug would simplify the lives of people with HIV. One HIV drug, Truvada, is also used as PreP, (pre exposure prophlaxis) taken by people who don’t have HIV to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. PreP is also taken daily.
The research findings were published in the journal Nature Materials.
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