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Antiviral Res. 2013 Oct;100(1):255-8. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2013.08.007. Epub 2013 Aug 20.

Osmotic pump tablets for delivery of antiretrovirals to the vaginal mucosa.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, United States.


Vaginal pre-exposure prophylaxis has focused heavily on gel formulations. Low adherence linked with frequent dosing and short therapeutic duration has emerged as the major reason for inconsistent efficacy outcomes with gels in clinical trials. Osmotic pumps can achieve versatile drug release profiles however, have not been explored for vaginal delivery. In this report, we describe an osmotic pump tablet (OPT) that can deliver antiretrovirals for several days. We also describe configuring the OPT for pH sensitive delivery where the drug delivery system consistently delivers an antiretroviral at vaginal pH and then gives a burst release triggered by a coitally associated pH increase. We have investigated the vaginal OPT for multiple day delivery of a potent antiretroviral, IQP-0528 in a sheep model. To effectively register spatial drug distribution we also engineered a tool to precisely collect multiple vaginal fluid samples. In a 10-day duration post single application, high micromolar mucosal levels were obtained with peak concentration more than 6 logs higher than the EC50 of IQP-0528. Overall, our results show successful implementation of the osmotic pump technology for vaginal antiretroviral delivery.


Antiretroviral; Multiswab device; Osmotic pump; Spatial drug distribution; Vaginal

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