Researchers focus on using Nanoparticles to improve drug delivery in HIV patients

New research led by the University of Liverpool aims to improve the administration and availability of drug therapies to HIV patients through the use of nanotechnology.  The research, conducted by the collaborative nanomedicine research programme led by Pharmacologist Professor Andrew Owen and Materials Chemist Professor Steve Rannard, examined the use of nanotechnology to improve the delivery of drugs to HIV patients.

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.

Presently, no clinically available oral nanotherapies exist for HIV populations and conventional paediatric HIV medicines are poorly available. The programme examined one current paediatric formulation that utilizes high ethanol concentrations to solubilize lopinavir, a poorly soluble antiretroviral.

Through the use of a rapid small-scale nanomedicine screening approach developed at Liverpool, the researchers were able to generate a novel water dispersible nanotherapy, hence removing the need to use alcohol in the paediatric medicine.

The research, funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is in ongoing human trials, and the preclinical development has been published in Nature Communications today (Friday, 21 October 2016).

Publication: Accelerated oral nanomedicine discovery from miniaturized screening to clinical production exemplified by paediatric HIV nanotherapies.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13184
Authors:Marco Giardiello et.al,
Journal: Nature Communications – News
Adapted from press release by University of Liverpool