At the ongoing 4th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, Starpharma Holdings Limited, an Australian company that has developed, and is now testing an STD-prevention gel, will report positive results from its most recent trial:
… 3% SPL7013 Gel (VivaGel™) was well-tolerated in men, and suitable for further development as a topical microbicide for the prevention of HIV and genital herpes…
The study compared 36 circumcised and uncircumcised men who applied VivaGel™ (24 men) or a placebo gel (12 men) topically to their penis once daily for seven days. The trial was double blinded so that the participants, principal investigator and study staff did not know who was receiving placebo or VivaGel™.
Overall, this study demonstrated that VivaGel(TM) was safe and well tolerated, and comparable with placebo when applied to the penis of both circumcised and uncircumcised healthy male volunteers once daily for seven days, and left in place for approximately 9 hours. As seen in a previous completed clinical trial in women, there was no evidence of absorption of the active ingredient of VivaGel™, SPL7013, into the blood after topical application.
According to the company, VivaGel™ is also being explored as a condom coating, as well as a vaginal gel.
The VivaGel™, that we reported on back in Nov. 2006, is a dendrimer-based nanoformulation, which is interesting enough to be revisited again:
Dendrimers are a kind of nanotechnology.
The specialised chemistry used to make dendrimers allows the chemist to control the physical and chemical properties of each dendrimer. Starpharma’s synthesis of dendrimers begins with a core molecule with branching groups to which other molecules are added. Dendrimers are constructed by the successive addition of layers to the branching groups. Each new layer is called a generation. The final generation can incorporate additional active groups to tailor the functionality of the dendrimer.
The selection of core, branching and surface molecules gives the dendrimer the desired properties and functions for medical, electronic, chemical and materials applications.
In the picture above, one can see how SPL7013, the active dendrimer ingredient, binds to surface proteins on HIV, preventing the virus from infecting human T-cells.
Starpharma company page…
Press release: Starpharma Presents Positive Results of Clinical Study of VivaGel(TM) in Men at 4th International AIDS Society Conference …